Sens 'trying to get excited'

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:13 PM ET

ST. LOUIS — It’s been a difficult week on and off the ice for the Senators.

But they finally got back to smiling again at Thursday’s practice as the Scottrade Center.

Dealing with the tragic death of assistant coach Luke Richardson’s 14-year-old daughter Daron, the Senators can start to look ahead as they wrap this trip in St. Louis Friday night.

Coming off a 7-1 loss in Carolina on Wednesday, hours after attending Daron’s funeral, the Senators looked relaxed and happy as they left the ice a day later.

“It’s been a tough few days ever since we heard the terrible news,” said defenceman Matt Carkner. “It was definitely tough (Wednesday). It was very emotional for the players.

“Obviously, we can’t imagine what the Richardsons are going through. We dealt a little bit with it. It’s going to be a long process for everyone.

“Hockey-wise, we’re trying to get excited (again). We’re just trying to have a good time and get back at it.”

Observers noticed the Senators had a bounce in their step and that should bode well for them as they try to close out this trip with four of a possible eight points.

“We just have to move forward,” said coach Cory Clouston. “We have to realize the last two games have not been close to good enough for whatever reasons. We can’t make excuses. We know we went through a tough couple of days. We’ve just to get to put our best foot forward and be much better (against St. Louis). Your head and your emotions have to be in order. You can X and O it to death, but if you’re not ready and your heart (isn’t into it), you’re not going to be able to execute.”

STAYING POSITIVE

D Brian Lee will be a healthy scratch for the 12th straight game against the Blues. He was the last one off the ice, along with David Hale, who will likely be shipped down to Binghamton soon. It’s not easy for the 23-year-old Lee. “I’m trying to work hard and do all the right things in practice so I can get back in there,” said Lee Thursday, who knew he was in a tough spot when he came into camp. “I looked at the numbers and I knew it was going to be an uphill battle,” said Lee. “I could see we had a lot of guys here. I just have to get better as much as I can in practice and be ready when they call my number.”

APOLOGY ACCEPTED

Captain Daniel Alfredsson said Eric Staal apologized for a hit on the boards just before Jesse Winchester jumped the Carolina centre. “He was just telling me he wasn’t that type of player and he’s not,” said Alfredsson. But Alfredsson was pleased to see Winchester jump to his defence. “That’s the right thing to do in that situation,” said Alfredsson.


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