Hartsburg line dance

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:59 AM ET

SHORT HILLS, N.J. -- Craig Hartsburg wants "lunch bucket" hockey.

The Senators have unveiled their new look -- with Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson split up -- in preparation for tonight's game vs. the Devils at the Prudential Center.

Hartsburg, who wants the Senators to become a "blue-collar" team, can only hope it doesn't result in the same old story.

The radically altered lines are: Spezza-Jarkko Ruutu-Chris Neil, Heatley-Chris Kelly-Nick Foligno and Alfredsson-Mike Fisher-Antoine Vermette.

So, who's the No. 1 centre?

"Definitely Chris Kelly," Spezza said with a smile. "We're the third line. We'll be grinding it out."

That kind of talk might send shivers down the spine of owner Eugene Melnyk, who isn't shelling out $8 million for Spezza the "grinder."

Hartsburg is just trying to spark an anemic offence. Breaking up Spezza, Heatley and Alfredsson wasn't hard to do with the Senators last in the NHL with just 67 goals in 29 games

"I want to see every line work," said a frustrated Hartsburg. "When we start to work every night, every shift and every line, then it will start to turn. We've got to spread those three guys around.

"Let's be a blue-collar team."

ADAPT TO RUUTU, NEIL

It's no accident Spezza has ended up with Ruutu and Neil. The wingers will do the work to get the puck. Spezza, when he's playing to his capability, can set them up.

Spezza is aware he'll have to adapt to Ruutu and Neil.

"We are just going to try to simplify the game and work hard," said Spezza. "The way we were doing it before, it hasn't worked consistently.

"You don't want to complicate things too much. (Ruutu and Neil) like to play a pretty simple game. It's up to me to adapt."

Hartsburg hopes Spezza, Heatley and Alfredsson can all create chances for others.

"I'm excited about it," said Fisher, who hasn't scored since Nov. 27. "Every line has got a bit of skill and has got some guys that can play physical. It's kind of a different look, which maybe we need."

Hartsburg said he'd try to be patient, although he won't stick with the new lines for long if they don't work.

So, how long is that?

"A period," Hartsburg said.

"(But) if I see guys competing and working together, that's all we're asking right now. I'm not asking for anything they're not (capable of doing). Everybody is capable of working hard."


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