Sens not so secure
Aedan Helmer, QMI Agency
|Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson thinks the player are over-thinking things right now. (Errol McGihon/QMI Agency)
OTTAWA - The Senators are desperately seeking some desperation.
With the power play mired in a dismal 0-for-21 stretch, the offence drying up with just five goals in the last five games — and a 1-2-2 record to show for it — and a playoff berth anything but a sure bet, objects in the rearview mirror are suddenly a lot closer than they appear.
“We’ve got eight games to turn it around and we control our own future, so we’re not looking back and not looking too far ahead going into Friday night (in Montreal), and we’re going to try to right the ship,” said Kyle Turris, who has been called upon to fill the void left by Jason Spezza, who was sorely missed in Tuesday’s 1-0 blanking at the hands of the Devils.
Spezza was nowhere to be seen on the practice ice Wednesday as he continues to battle the flu, but coach Paul MacLean said he was optimistic his No. 1 centre will be available for Thursday’s practice.
“He’s a guy you can’t replace. He’s one of the best in the league and he brings so much to this team,” said Turris, who was held without a point for the fifth straight game.
“I’m getting lots of chances, but it’s just not bouncing for me, or I’m not bearing down enough in front of the net and it goes off my stick and I don’t put it in. It’s really frustrating, but at the same time I’m trying to see it in a positive way, I am getting chances and hopefully they’ll start going in.”
MacLean, who drilled his troops hard on the power play Wednesday, said it was easy to put his finger on what’s missing from the Senators’ game.
“Goals. That’s what’s missing. We’ve gone through stretches before in the season where we don’t score, the power play doesn’t score, or doesn’t look good, and it’s a cyclical type of thing,” he said.
“We’ve scored (221 goals), so it’s reasonable to expect we’ll score goals again. That’s the belief we have and the confidence that we have, that we’re going to be able to score goals again. We just have to get back to doing the things we did in the past to generate them, which is shooting the puck and getting to the net and being determined for second and third opportunities at the net.”
Captain Daniel Alfredsson said the Senators can take some solace in the fact they’ve been through this as recently as the all-star break.
“We worked so hard to get here, and sometimes it’s easy to overanalyze things. (Tuesday) was a step in the right direction, but we can still push ourselves a little more in terms of creating more ourselves instead of waiting for things to happen. It seems like we’re a little bit tentative at times and not creating as much offence,” said Alfredsson.
“If we skate more and we’re more aggressive, a lot of things will fall in place. If it’s power play or 5-on-5, it all falls under the same criteria.
“We’ve done a lot of good things to get where we are, and we’ve put ourselves in a great position, now it’s just full gas from here on in and don’t leave anything behind, because this is the best time of year to play.”