Sens' Leclaire trips out

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:46 AM ET

BOSTON — The Senators were in a foul mood before they packed their bags for one of the longest road trips of the season Friday.

Goaltender Pascal Leclaire slammed his stick, broke it and then, for good measure, tossed it into the corner at Scotiabank Place. Coach Cory Clouston barked out orders for the forwards to “shoot” during one drill.

Coming off a dismal 6-2 loss to the Canucks Thursday and preparing for a tough road trip with the first stop Saturday in Boston, the Senators should be upset.

Leclaire, who was shelled for four goals in the third period against Vancouver, tried to pass off his outburst as “no big deal.” But it didn’t go unnoticed because nobody can remember Leclaire going off like that since he joined the Senators.

“Every guy breaks sticks once in a while. I don’t think anything. It was just a bad five minutes,” said Leclaire, who is winless in four starts this season. “I’m like anybody else. It doesn’t matter if you’re a hockey player, a construction worker, sometimes you ...

“Guys break sticks all the time during the game, but it’s not the goalie, so nothing is said. I’m no different than anybody else.”

Clouston, for one, didn’t mind the outburst.

“I’m fine with that. It’s good for him to show some emotion,” said Clouston. “He obviously wasn’t happy with (Thursday) and he needs to do that more often.”

But Leclaire is in a tough spot. Brian Elliott is expected to make the start against the Bruins. Leclaire hadn’t suited up since Oct. 14 and he needs to have success if he’s going to stay in the net.

“Games are different than practices, but I’ve got to come back and make sure I practise hard,” said Leclaire. “When I get a chance to play, I have to play well and we’ll build from that. It’s all I can do right now.”

Leclaire could have used some offensive support and that’s why Clouston yelled in the middle of a 3-on-1 drill for the players “not to pass up on shots.”

“We’ve got to shoot the puck more,” said Clouston. “We had a couple of opportunities in the second period, we had real good opportunities to shoot the puck and tried to be a little bit too cute.

“We’ve got to put more pucks to the net and against a team like Boston they don’t give you a lot, so if you get an opportunity you can’t pass it up.”

Especially against Boston goalie Tim Thomas, who is 17-7-0 lifetime vs. Ottawa, with a 2.01 GAA, .934 save-percentage and five shutouts. Thomas, 8-0 this season, stopped 29 shots in a 4-0 win in Ottawa two weeks ago.

So, is he in the Senators’ heads?

“At times he does,” said Clouston. “We’ve seen it with Buffalo (Ryan Miller) in the reverse. There is a bit of psychological advantage when you have a team’s number. We can’t use that as an excuse.

“We have to make sure we do the things (needed to have success). We have to worry about the process, not the outcomes. Part of that is putting pucks at the net and make sure we weren’t passing up good chances.”

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos