Nasty Hab-its dog Sens

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

MONTREAL -- The Senators were in a sour mood yesterday.

Before heading to Montreal via bus, the Senators did a lot of soul-searching and a little bit of sniping at the media as they prepared to face the Canadiens tonight.

Winger Brian McGrattan and defencemen Wade Redden jawed at cameramen and photographers following a 40-minute meeting at Scotiabank Place as the Senators' frustrations bubbled over.

Redden later tried to smooth things over, telling reporters he was just "joking," when he told cameramen and photographers to "shove those cameras."

The only joke lately has been Ottawa's play.

LOSING GRIP

With only three wins in 10 games, the Senators have seen their lead in the Eastern Conference and Northeast Division shrink to three points over the Habs.

With the teams playing twice this week, Montreal could take over top spot in the East, which would relegate Ottawa to fourth place overall in the conference.

"We've got to play hard, for each other and play a team game," said Redden. "You see all these teams that are winning. They are playing and battling hard every night. That's what it takes to be successful."

There were a lot of meetings before the club left. Before an optional skate, Paddock summoned everybody but goalies Martin Gerber and Ray Emery to a video session and discussion.

So, what did the boys talk about for so long?

"Team play with and without the puck," said Paddock. "And the result of it being in our net. It's not just defensive play or play without the puck in our zone. The bottom line was to show that it's not just one thing or one area.

"It's not just our forwards turning the puck over; not just the forwards not covering their point men. It's not just the defencemen in the crease. It's not just our goaltending."

Following the meeting, Paddock made his way down the hallway to GM Bryan Murray's office.

GM NOT IMPRESSED

The Senators are banged up, missing captain Daniel Alfredsson (hip flexor) and wingers Dany Heatley (shoulder) and Patrick Eaves (shoulder), but the word is Murray is learning a lot about some of his players during these tough times and sources say he's not impressed.

Murray has been vigorously working the phones trying to find the Senators help. The indications are Ottawa is willing to move winger Antoine Vermette, defenceman Joe Corvo and Emery.

The return of Alfredsson and Heatley would likely boost the Senators' fortunes, but for the time being others have to suck it up.

"Whether they're in or out, we've got to get back to playing well," said Senators centre Mike Fisher. "We can't worry about when those guys are coming back. We just have to worry about our game."


Videos

Photos