Sens know the deal

Senators blueliner Matt Carkner keeps the mood light as he talks to Brian Elliott during practice...

Senators blueliner Matt Carkner keeps the mood light as he talks to Brian Elliott during practice Saturday at Scotiabank Place. (TONY CALDWELL, OTTAWA SUN)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, Agency

, Last Updated: 9:38 PM ET

WASHINGTON — Bryan Murray was tight-lipped Saturday.

The Senators GM, who returned Friday after week-long scouting meetings in Florida, has been doing his talking on the phone as he tries to make changes before the Feb. 28 trade deadline.

While everybody in the organization is trying to ignore the noise in the media being made about firings and trades, the players are aware something is going to give.

“(The speculation) is in the back of our minds but we can’t focus on that,” winger Nick Foligno said Saturday. “We can’t control it. Right now, we’re not in a position where we need to worry about that.

“We need to worry about the things we can control. We all want to see each other stay here. We think we can win together and we’ve got to go out there and start proving it. That’s the bottom line, really.”

So far, Murray hasn’t been able to make a deal.

The Senators want to shed salary and have assets like Chris Phillips, Jarrko Ruutu, Chris Campoli and Foligno, who could help a contender.

The Senators swear they haven’t given up on making the playoffs. The underachievers want a chance to show Murray they have what it takes to get the job done, even if they don’t make the post-season.

“If everybody plays the right way, there’s no reason why this team can’t win games,” said Foligno. “I don’t think anyone is happy.

“I think (management) believes in us and we believe in ourselves. From the outside looking in, it looks like we’re a troubled team. But there are a lot of things that we can control that are a reason why we’re losing games. It’s frustrating for fans and for people not within the team.

“But we feel we still have a team that can win. We’ve shown that. But, for whatever reason, we’re making mistakes and as soon as we make them, they’re in the back of our net. It’s really frustrating. We’re our own worst enemies. We’ve got to make sure we battle out of this. Guys still believe in ourselves.”

Trailing the eighth-place Thrashers by 11 points going into play Saturday, the Senators have to be careful they don’t start playing out the string in the final 37 games.

“We’ve got to work on getting some positive things going,” said defenceman Matt Carkner. “We seem to keep shooting ourselves in the foot with the plays we’re making. Right now, little things are going wrong.

“From here on out, we can’t look at how (many points) we have to gain. We can see (the standings). We know it’s going to be an uphill battle. We’ve just got to make little steps at a time from here on out to try and get our game to where it should be. That’s all we can do.”

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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