Coach calls out Spezza

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

As far as John Paddock is concerned, the Senators got exactly what they deserved last night.

The Senators coach was seething after Ottawa dropped a lacklustre 4-1 decision to the Bruins at Scotiabank Place. Paddock called out Jason Spezza, saying the centre made some "stupid" plays with the puck.

"That's what it should be ... a 4-1 loss," said Paddock.

While the Senators were without captain Daniel Alfredsson (hip flexor) and winger Dany Heatley (separated shoulder), Paddock wasn't going to let anybody use injuries as an excuse for the sad-sack effort and he pointed the finger directly at Spezza.

'INEXCUSABLE PLAY'

Asked if he felt some of the players were getting outside of their roles in the absence of Spezza and Heatley, Paddock fired a shot at Spezza: "Not necessarily, other than (Spezza). The first two goals were inexcusable plays by us."

A lost faceoff by Mike Fisher led to the opening goal by Phil Kessel only 28 seconds into the game and a Spezza turnover set up Milan Lucic's sixth of the season 3:18 into the first.

Only hours after Paddock declared he needed more from Spezza with Alfredsson out for his third game in 10 days with a hip flexor injury, the club's top centre was the target of criticism.

"We played the puck into the trap on the first shift. We have a faceoff in our zone and they score," said Paddock. "We turn the puck over at the blue line and they score. That's the hockey game. Without question."

So, are there lessons to be learned going forward?

"If getting over stupidity is a lesson ... yes," said Paddock.

Spezza knew he was guilty.

"You've got to be simple early on. We turned the puck over and we didn't win. There are things we have to fix," said Spezza. "We have to be better as a team and I have to play better without those guys in the lineup for sure.

"I turned the puck over two or three times and that's a little bit uncharacteristic for the way I've been playing. I've got to take better care of the puck. I was just trying to make some things happen and I made some mental mistakes. I tried to do too much."

MEDIOCRE MONTH

The loss left Ottawa with mediocre 7-7 record in January. The Senators are winless in the three games that Alfredsson has missed recently as a result of the injury that he first suffered Jan. 17 vs. Carolina and reaggravated Tuesday in a 5-2 victory over the Islanders.

The Senators are well aware that they have to do a better job without Alfredsson.

"We've got to find ways to win," said Fisher. "We're a good team. We're just not playing well defensively. We're making mistakes trying some things we shouldn't be trying and it's really costing us right now."

Only Antoine Vermette was able to put a dent in a great outing by Boston goalie Tim Thomas.

Paddock announced afterward that Ray Emery will start against the Maple Leafs tomorrow at Air Canada Centre.

Goalie Martin Gerber, who allowed three goals on seven shots in the first, wasn't great, but didn't seem thrilled when he heard the news that Emery will be between the pipes.

"No comment," said Gerber.


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