No help on way for Senators

Senators general manager Bryan Murray watches practice at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa on December...

Senators general manager Bryan Murray watches practice at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa on December 14, 2010. (TONY CALDWELL/QMI Agency)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:17 AM ET

The answers have to come from within for the Senators.

While GM Bryan Murray is trying to make a trade, it seems unlikely he’ll be able to swing a deal before the NHL’s holiday roster freeze kicks in Sunday.

For now, Murray is hopeful the players will be able to get it together with 50 games left on the schedule.

“I’m disappointed that we aren’t higher up and closer to the pack,” Murray said Tuesday. “I really still believe it’s a really competitive hockey team that should be a playoff team. I’m disappointed that it’s not. I’m not sure of all the reasons. Not scoring is a big reason. It’s a better team than we’ve played for the most part.”

The Senators would like to add a top-six forward or rugged blueliner. A lot of teams want young players in return for older, more expensive underachievers.

That’s why Murray is doubtful he’ll be able to get anything done. He has been talking for months, but trades don’t usually happen until the deadline when teams are bulking up for the post-season.

“We talk about trades and we talk to other managers, but that’s very difficult,” said Murray. “As I talk to different teams, even teams that want to make something happen, I have a tough time. Getting equal value at equal money is difficult.”

Preparing to face the Minnesota Wild Thursday and the Colorado Avalanche Friday, both on the road, the Senators closed out a three-game, one-win homestand with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Thrashers on Monday.

Senators coach Cory Clouston is trying to keep the message positive. He doesn’t have a whole lot of choice. The club has struggled to score goals, but they have nine in the past three games.

They want to build off the comeback against Atlanta.

“We’re happy with how we played the last couple of games and it’s definitely something to build on,” said Clouston. “You have to build on something. Otherwise, why don’t you just throw in the towel?

“We’re not ready to do that. So, we played well, we came back, we felt we should have had the lead. We’re not happy with the loss, but we’re definitely happy with how we played. That’s all we can focus on right now.”

Murray said there are still enough points on the table for the club to make the playoffs.

“There are still 50 games remaining,” said Murray. “We all know we’re going to lose some games in the second half, but that’s a long time and there are 100 points available. We know we have to win more than our share now, but I think we’ve got that ability.”

Time will tell.


Photos