Show up and shut up

Head coach Cory Clouston is not happy that the Sens lead the league in penalties. (Sun Media/Errol...

Head coach Cory Clouston is not happy that the Sens lead the league in penalties. (Sun Media/Errol McGihon)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

Shut your yaps.

That's the message from Senators coach Cory Clouston after his club woke up Monday as the most penalized team in the NHL at 20.2 minutes per game (277 PIMs through 14 games).

TSN's Pierre McGuire said last week the Senators are whining too much to the officials.

McGuire, who has a perch between the benches during games, said officials can tune out players if they're constantly complaining.

Whether Clouston agrees with McGuire, the coach told his players in a meeting to show up and shut up.

“If that’s the perception, we have to change that perception,” said Clouston. “If we are perceived (as being mouthy), we have to change that, whether it’s true or not. I don’t think we do anything different, but if the perception is that, we have to make adjustments.

“If that's our image, we have to turn that around through hard work and just shutting our mouth, maybe to the other extreme. If we are perceived as going one way, we’ll go the other way until it eventually turns around.

“We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We have to keep working hard, shut our mouths and, hopefully, eventually it will turn around.”

Clouston's instructions came after the Senators were burned by penalties in Saturday's 3-2 loss to New Jersey.

Not only did the Devils score three power-play goals, Senators wingers Jarkko Ruutu and Chris Neil were both given 10-minute misconducts in the third period.

New Jersey’s Andrew Peters said Ruutu stuck a finger in his mouth, although Ruutu maintained he couldn’t explain why he was put in the box.

Neil was given a seat next to Ruutu for knocking down David Clarkson well after the whistle.

The Senators were not only leading in PIMs heading into last night, they were tops with five, 10-minute misconducts.

That’s part of the reason the players have been told to let captain Daniel Alfredsson, along with alternates Chris Phillips and Mike Fisher, speak to the officials.

“Lately, it has been (a big issue). The last two games especially,” said Alfredsson. “The minors (also) hurt. We looked at some of the penalties and you think that some of them are questionable, but you know they’re going to call the hooking and the holding.

“I don’t know if we’re that bad (yapping on the bench), but it doesn’t help. We’ve just got to be smarter and not let that affect us. Once they’ve called it, they’ve called it.

“We’re just going to go about playing the game the same way. We just have to be a little bit smarter about it and let the refs do their job.

“We’ve got to let the captains handle (the refs). We don’t need everybody letting the refs know every time they skate by. Guys are aware and we know it’s been hurting us lately. If we get smart, it just gives us one more advantage to win games.”

The players know they have to smarten up.

“It’s not like we’ve got five guys fighting every game and that’s why we’re the most penalized team in the league,” said centre Chris Kelly. “We’re taking penalties that we shouldn’t be taking at the wrong time during the game.”


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