November 14, 2008
Sens lay an egg against IslesOttawa turns in second straight uninspired effort
By BRUCE GARRIOCH; SUN MEDIA
Just when it looked like it couldn't get any worse for the Senators ...
The Senators left Scotiabank Place last night red-faced and were loudly booed off the ice following another embarrassing loss -- a 3-1 decision to the Islanders, the NHL's worst team.
The teams face off again tomorrow night at the Nassau County Coliseum.
After a pitiful 4-0 loss on Tuesday to the Canadiens in Montreal, the Senators followed it up with an ugly, uninspiring performance in front of 19,061 as Ottawa dropped its third in a row.
Only defenceman Filip Kuba scored for the Senators, who have only scored two goals in their last three games.
"I'm very disappointed in our level of desperation and competing. We started the game with no level of competition," said disgusted Senators coach Craig Hartsburg. "I don't know if you can call it wakeup call, but we need to wake up."
Senators GM Bryan Murray could be ready to send wakeup call of his own through the club's dressing room by making a deal. Sources say it's no coincidence the Avalanche had three scouts in the rink because they're looking to move defenceman Jordan Leopold.
While the Avs would likely covet winger Antoine Vermette in return, Murray has been actively working the phones and likely won't sit still much longer.
"I can't explain it. This is a team that has been on a roller-coaster ride here," said Hartsburg. "When it plays with emotion and energy, they're very good. But this is also a team that struggled with this part of the game last year for the last 40 games. So somehow that part of our game, we've got to get it out of us because it kills us.
"You can't play the game and be a good team unless you consistently are excited about the challenge in the hockey game and that's a physical challenge to start."
The Senators were aware the only reason the score wasn't worse was because of goalie Alex Auld's play. He made 28 stops -- including 15 in the first when the Senators were outshot 16-5. Kyle Okposo, Trent Hunter and Bill Guerin scored for the Isles, who moved within two points of Ottawa in the Eastern Conference standings.
"It's got come down to no matter who we're playing, we've got to find how we need to play. Obviously, you need to get points against teams, but it's one of those things where I don't think we're at the point just because a team is below us, we feel we deserve to win," said Auld.
SHANNON KNOCKED COLD
The Senators finished the game with a power play after Thomas Pock was thrown out for elbowing Binghamton call up Ryan Shannon to the head. He was knocked out, but the Senators weren't able to do anything with the five-minute power play.
Ironically, Shannon had been recalled to replace forward Jarkko Ruutu, who was sitting out the first game of a two-game suspension for nailing the Habs' Maxim Lapierre to the head on Tuesday.
For a team that's supposed to be fighting to get back into a playoff position and had plenty of fire in practice on Wednesday, the Senators looked disinterested and didn't put up much a fight.
"Overall, it's not a good game for us. The Islanders are a team we should beat," said captain Daniel Alfredsson. "Everybody wants to win. It's not as if somebody is in there pouting. We just have to work through this."