Paddock not afraid of sin bin

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

Coach John Paddock was forgiving of his Senators when they took exactly zero penalties in a game against the Lightning last Saturday.

Had they lost, or if it was the playoffs, he would not have been happy with their choirboy act.

"I think there's some good penalties you can take," Paddock said yesterday. "I think there's good charging and the odd good elbowing penalty and stuff. I think there's nothing wrong with that.

"I think there's real good elbowing penalties. If you're playing in the playoffs and the other team's best player happens to get an elbow in the head, I think it's a good penalty."

Same applies for this time of the season, too.

"The players that you're always leery of are the players that go after your best player," Paddock said. "I don't even know if we have that kind of player, I'm sort of half-joking about that, but when we play Atlanta, everybody's concerned about Garnet Exelby, because it doesn't matter if it's Jason Spezza or Chris Neil, they might get an elbow. Same when we play the Islanders. Brendan Witt. Why does he drive (Jaromir) Jagr crazy? Those are good things that happen if you're on the giving end of them."

Do tonight's opponents, the Sabres, have a player like that, in Paddock's opinion?

"Adam Mair plays hard all the time," Paddock said. "He bumps into people all the time."

Is Neil that guy for the Senators?

"A little bit," he said.

Do you need more of that?

"Every team likes those kind of players," Paddock said. "Do I think anything (Flyers rookie) Steve Downie has done so far this year is right? No. But I get a feeling there's 29 teams that would like him on their team, or in their organization. I don't know if he's an NHL player yet."

He doesn't condone the recent sucker-punch Downie threw at Jason Blake.

"I don't agree with it at all," Paddock said. "I don't like anything he's done yet this year. I'm just saying, he's the kind of player organizations like to have, because of how he plays. There's still a difference between being cheap and going after a team's best players real hard. There's still a difference between how Garnet Exelby plays and somebody who gives a sucker-punch, or runs at somebody from 100 feet. There's a big difference. But I would expect over the years the Flyers hope that Downie develops into a Chris Neil-type forward."

A PERFECT NO-HITTER: It wasn't until well after the game that Chris Kelly realized the Senators didn't have a chance to improve on their 10th-ranked penalty-killing numbers Saturday. Asked when the last time a team he played on wasn't called for a single infraction the entire night, Kelly had to go all the way back to 1997. "My first game of junior, ever," he said. "I played for London, and we were playing Windsor, in Windsor. The year before there was this huge rivalry. They said it was going to be a bloodbath. There wasn't one penalty called."

THIS AND THAT: Daniel Alfredsson had an East all-star jersey hanging in the Senators dressing room yesterday, and on the masking tape stuck to its front were the words 'Team Canada.' Said Captain Canada: "I did that this morning to cheer everybody up a little bit." ... Alfredsson said he felt proud to be voted as a starter for the all-star game by the fans. "I'm very happy, obviously," he said. "It's a great honour. It's going to be a lot of fun. I'm really looking forward to it." ... Alfredsson said he's not sure who he's taking to the game with him -- wife Bibi has a trip to Sweden planned and the dates might clash. He'll find out which teammates will accompany him tomorrow, when the rest of the Eastern Conference lineup is announced. As for his starting linemates, Alfredsson said: "I'm sure (Sidney) Crosby and (Vincent) Lecavalier are looking forward to playing with me. Just kidding." ... Asked if he finds it tough not to think ahead to the Red Wings, Dany Heatley said: "It's hard not to watch them, it seems like they're on the highlights every day." So are most teams, unless you're visiting Atlanta or Florida or Carolina, etc. Then, it seems the only way hockey teams get any significant time on the highlight reel is if they're in attendance at an NBA game ... Returning from the flu, D Joe Corvo will remain in the Senators top-4 defencemen pairings for now. That means Andrej Meszaros, who was filling in for Anton Volchenkov on the top 2, will slip to the 5-6 pairing, alongside Luke Richardson. "I thought Mez has had a couple of real good games, versus struggling before," said Paddock. "But I think we'll start that way." ... C Dean McAmmond missed practice for personal reasons.


Videos

Photos