Sens not about to make waives

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

There is a puck-moving defenceman on the NHL's waiver wire, but the Senators will likely be taking a pass.

While the Senators would have a decent shot at Carolina Hurricanes blueliner Frantisek Kaberle if they decided to make a claim before he clears today at noon, GM Bryan Murray likely doesn't have much interest, due to Kaberle's contract.

Kaberle is making $2.2 million US this season and has next year left on his contract.

Carolina GM Jim Rutherford has been trying to deal Kaberle, who would fit the bill as a puck-moving defenceman, since last summer, but has decided to see if anybody will take a chance on him on the waiver wire. The possibility exists he could be recalled and available at half-price.

The rap on Kaberle is that he's unable to stay healthy. He hasn't been able to make it through a full season in the past and the Senators are going to need somebody who will be reliable if they think they're going to have any shot at making the playoffs.

That means if the Senators are going to end their 12-game road losing skid tonight against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place, (10 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet) the answers are going to have to come from within. The club is coming off back-to-back losses to Calgary (6-3) Saturday and Vancouver (3-0) Sunday.

Senators coach Craig Hartsburg told reporters before the club's flight from Vancouver to Edmonton yesterday everybody has to step up.

"We need everybody. This is a team thing," said Hartsburg. "Right now, we're obviously in a tough, tough situation. This is the time to find out about a lot of people. Your team stick together and everybody. It's not just a handful of players."

IN A FUNK

The Senators are well aware they are on the road to nowhere if they don't get out of this funk soon. The club has the lost the first three games of this eight-game road swing, is sitting at No. 12 in the East and is 10 points behind the eighth-place Buffalo Sabres.

If Ottawa is going to have a realistic shot at making the playoffs, then the turnaround has to start tonight against the Oilers. Bashing centre Jason Spezza has become a local pastime, but let's be honest here, he's far from the only culprit in what has become an ugly mess.

Hartsburg said the players have to get their act together. He has decided to go stick with goaltender Martin Gerber against the Oilers.

Gerber allowed three goals on 30 shots against the Canucks, but has a 1-3-0 lifetime record vs. the Oilers with a 1.72 GAA.

"The message is pretty clear for us: We've got to get some points here," said Hartsburg. "We know where we sit. It's not too early (to talk about the playoffs) because we've got to get some points."

To further complicate matters, the Senators are without defencemen Anton Volchenkov and Filip Kuba. It doesn't sound like either is going to suit up. Volchenkov (upper body) skated briefly yesterday and wasn't able to take part in practice while Kuba (groin) won't play.

"Individually, we need the players (to be their) best and as a team, we have to be hungry and desperate. We have to play our best for 60 minutes," said Hartsburg.

The Senators will return home tomorrow to bring in the New Year, do laundry and then hit the road again Saturday against the Maple Leafs.

"There is obviously a lot of frustration in our dressing room. We just don't seem to be able to play for 60 minutes," said captain Daniel Alfredsson following the loss to the Canucks. "We're just going to have to keep working and find a way."


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