Players talk among themselves

BRUCE GARRIOCH

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

BOSTON -- The Senators pushed their own panic button yesterday.

After a brutal 4-0 loss to the Bruins at TD BankNorth Garden, the Senators held a 15-minute players only meeting to discuss what has gone so horribly wrong.

And the players know if it continues this week, they could be in serious trouble going into the post-season ... if they even make it.

"After our (15-2) start, we've played like crap. We're a mediocre team," said Senators winger Chris Neil. "It's frustrating to see the talent in this room. We've got a good chemistry, but it's one of those things where we're not putting a full 60 minutes together.

"Game in and game out, we have to be better. I don't clear the puck out in the Buffalo game (Thursday) and we end up losing the game. It's just little mistakes we're making. It's not just one guy or two guys, it's the whole team. You've got to limit your mistakes if you're going to win hockey games."

Captain Daniel Alfredsson said nobody called the session as everybody in the dressing room agreed they needed to talk.

"We it's a pressure situation. It's a situation where we haven't been playing well for quite some time. We just have to make sure the last three games are a test to see what kind of character we have on the team and how we can be prepared going into the playoffs," said Alfredsson.

SPECULATIONS

Looks like the Senators got the best of the Shean Donovan-Peter Schaefer deal in the off-season. Boston coach Claude Julien told reporters the other day that "(Schaefer) hasn't played as well as I'd like. I'm not going to hide that fact." The reality is Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli tried to move Schaefer, 30, who has two years left on his contract at $2.3 million US per season, at the NHL trade deadline, but couldn't find any takers ... You can bet the Bruins are going to make a pitch for Pittsburgh RW Marian Hossa when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. They'll just have Boston D Zdeno Chara -- Hossa's neighbour and childhood friend -- give him a call ... Senators W Jesse Winchester, making his NHL debut, played 19 shifts and had 14 minutes of ice time. Winchester, who agreed to a one-year contract Monday, isn't eligible for the playoffs because he didn't sign a contract before the NHL trade deadline.

SLAP SHOTS

Senators D Anton Volchenkov, who ended an 80-game goal-less slump on Tuesday in Buffalo, nearly had his second of the season at 2:40 of the second, but his shot from the point hit the post ... The Bruins hope to have C Patrice Bergeron back from post-concussion syndrome for the post-season. He has been on the ice with the team, but hasn't been given clearance to have physical contact yet. "If we can get into the playoffs, and if we can get him back, we really feel that could help us," Chiarelli said yesterday. "What we're hoping is that he's going to be able to play here." ... After it looked like his elbow got up on Boston C Jeremy Reich and got sent to the box for interference, Neil went toe-to-toe with Boston W Shawn Thornton late in the first. Reich got up looking foggy, suffered a concussion and didn't return to the game. "I think I may have caught him with my stick," said Neil ... The Bruins had a Rodney Dangerfield look-alike, dressed in Caddyshack attire dancing to Journey's Any way you want it on the scoreboard in the second period. Hilarious.

THE MORNING SKATE

It's going to be a busy summer in Ottawa. Hockey Canada is thinking about holding the summer training camp for the world junior team in the national's captial from July 26-30. It's believed Hockey Canada is in negotiations with officials at the Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. There are usually 40 prospects invited to the camp in preparation for the 2009 championships, which will be held in Ottawa ... A piece of glass behind the net had to be replaced at the 9:09 mark of the first period. Unfortunately, it was a longer than usual delay because somebody brought out the wrong glass at first and there was no shortage of workers ... Ottawa C Cody Bass ended up with a cut over his eye after a mixup with Thornton at 9:49 of the second. Bass hit Boston D Mark Stuart, then got jumped by Thornton.

BUTT ENDS

Met up with Boston buddy James Murphy, who covers the Northeast Division for NHL.com and hosts a hockey radio show, for a couple of cold ones on Friday in Beantown. He told a great story about being one of the last patrons to leave the old Boston Garden the day the Bruins were eliminated from the playoffs by the Devils on May 14, 1995. "My sister and I just sat there as long as we could because we knew we wouldn't be back," said Murphy. The next day, their picture appeared on the front page of the Boston Globe ... Tried to find a place that would show us hockey, but with March Madness and the Celtics playing well, there was not a chance.


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