The Senators aren’t only going to have to prepare for the Battle of Ontario, they’re also battling the flu.
Coach Cory Clouston held an optional skate with only 12 players Saturday at Scotiabank Place because eight or nine bodies are battling a flu that has left the club’s dressing room ravaged for a visit by the arch-rival Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Senators are considering recalling some players from Binghamton for this Hockey Night in Canada matchup, but that decision won’t be made until later Saturday. Among the players sick are forwards Jarkko Ruutu and Peter Regin.
“We might have to call some guys up,” Clouston said. “I’m not going to comment on which guys because there’s too many to comment on. We’ll have a lineup tonight and we’ll be ready.”
Clouston said he hasn’t seen a flu run through a team like this in his career.
“I’ve had one or two guys, not this many guys at one time,” Clouston said.
The Senators, who have lost two straight, can’t afford to use the flu as an excuse.
“Guys are going to be out of the lineup and there’s going to be holes to be filled. It gives other guys the opportunity to go out and get the job done,” Ottawa centre Chris Kelly said.