SUNRISE, FLA. -- The Senators aren't happy with Wade Redden.
Coach John Paddock had a chat with the veteran defenceman about his inconsistent play before the 4-3 shootout loss to the Lightning Wednesday night.
Paddock, however, is hopeful the highest-paid Senator this season ($6.5 million) will find his early season form.
"When you're a player that eats up a lot of minutes, it's more apparent when you're struggling." Paddock said before last night's game against the Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center. "It's (another) thing when you play five or six minutes a game and we notice a specific mistake."
"I spoke to him about the fact that his game hasn't been at the level that it was in the first eight or nine games of the season."
While some Senators fans want Redden run out of town, the defenceman has a "no movement" clause and isn't not going anywhere.
Paddock even took Redden -- who did score the tying goal to send the Bolts game to OT -- off the first power-play unit.
Redden knows he has to improve. He's at his best when he's making simple plays, getting the puck out of his own zone.
MAKE 'SIMPLE PLAY'
"My game kind of goes as the team goes," said Redden. "When everyone is playing well, that's when I seem to (play well). I've got to be working with other guys and I feed off other guys.
"I just have to make the simple play to get the puck out of trouble and that's usually going to result in good things."
Redden's first-period giveaway vs. the Bolts illustrates his recent difficulties.
He threw a puck into the middle of the ice that was intercepted by Jan Hlavac and resulted in Mathieu Darche's opening goal.
"(Redden) feels as bad about that mistake as everybody else does. We'll see how he responds," said Paddock.
"He's one of the better players on our team. He's got to go out and rebound, not from that mistake, but from a number of games here."
JACQUES WEIGHS IN: Former Senators GM/coach Jacques Martin didn't realize his former club was in the midst of its longest losing streak (seven games) since he took over from Dave "Sparky" Allison in Ottawa in 1995-96. "It's funny when you look at things," said Martin, the GM/coach of the Panthers. "The Lightning lost six straight and the New Jersey Devils went through it. It's difficult to understand, but (the Senators) had a big lead and they built up a lot of points. It hasn't hurt them in the standings at all, they're still in first place. For sure, when you look at their club and the personnel, they've got that's a club you wouldn't think would have that kind of losing streak. But, because of parody in the league, it just seems like it happens."
CREASE COMPLAINT: GM Bryan Murray spoke with NHL supervisor Kevin Collins about Vinny Lecavalier being in the crease for the Bolts' third goal, by Filip Kuba. The Senators were also upset that referee Mike Hasenfratz -- who also officiated the Panthers game -- gave G Ray Emery an unsportsmanlike penalty when he complained. It was the second unsportsmanlike call on the Senators in the game. Paddock said the club wasn't frustrated, however. "I think the referees are thin-skinned. Rayzor's thing: He was clearly interfered with. I don't see any more (frustration). I don't think it's frustration causing that. It's not an issue." The Senators received their other unsportsmanlike penalty because somebody on the bench was upset about C Dean McAmmond getting an elbow in the head from Andre Roy in the first. "That's more of a protective thing," said Paddock. "That's a teammate who's had two serious concussions." McAmmond, you'll remember, was on the receiving end of a vicious hit to the head from Flyer Steve Downie in the pre-season.
OFF THE GLASS: Paddock decided to go back with Emery against the Panthers. "He gave us a chance to stay in the hockey game (vs. the Bolts). There was no weak goals. He had to make some big saves. That team is explosive. I thought he was pretty sharp," said Paddock ... The Panthers have brought in a mental skills coach to try to help them play better at home. The club was 7-6-1 in its own building going into last night's game.