Sens coach not a hater

Coach Bryan Murray talks to his team during the Senators practice at the Scotiabank Place on...

Coach Bryan Murray talks to his team during the Senators practice at the Scotiabank Place on Wednesday. (Sun Media/Sean Kilpatrick)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:27 AM ET

BUFFALO -- Bryan Murray doesn't hate Lindy Ruff.

But he doesn't have to like him, either ... at least not while Murray's Senators are facing Ruff's Sabres in the Eastern Conference final, which begins tonight.

It's hard to forget the image of Murray and Ruff, the Sabres' coach, bellowing at each other in Buffalo on Feb. 22 after Chris Neil nailed Chris Drury with an open-ice hit.

But Murray says there are no hard feelings.

"Hate is a terrible word," said Murray. "Nobody hates anybody in our business.

"We're all partners in the NHL in some respects, but we're competitive people and we want to win.

"I want to beat Lindy Ruff. He wants to beat me. Our players want to beat their players.

"You have to be competitive people. You have to be willing to battle at all levels to be successful. I'm too old to hate people at this point unless they write bad stuff about me. I just think we've got to do everything we can do to get an edge to win the series and I think that's what both teams will try to do."

Murray said the Senators would like revenge for their loss in the second round last year.

"We need to beat them this time, we want to beat them this time and we're going to try really hard to beat them this time," said Murray.

ROAD WARRIORS

The Senators are comfortable with the fact they're going to have to play the first two games of this series at HSBC Arena. While the Senators would like to play Game 7 at home, they're 4-1 on the road in the playoffs. "We want to go down there and steal one, then we know we're pretty good at home," said Jason Spezza. "Sure, we'd love to have Game 7 at home, but it's not going to work out that way." The Senators believe there is going to be huge pressure on the Sabres to play well at home. "Going in there is not a big deal for us," said Mike Fisher. "That's going to put more pressure on them. We're going to go in there, hopefully have a couple of good games and get at least one win, then come back and see if we can have success at home where our fans will be pumped up." Murray said he likes being on the road. "I like it. I just think at the start of the series, guys can just go play," said Murray. "They don't have anything (to do) other than they're on the road, they're together and it's a team type of thing. They can sit around and talk. We have to look after each other. There are a lot of good things that come out of that. You just play your game and play sound. You don't have to do anything special. You just have to play to win."

EAVES OKAY

Senators RW Patrick Eaves made the trip to Buffalo and he could be ready tonight for Game 1. He went through the skate yesterday and said he planned to speak with the club's doctors to decide whether he would play. "I'm feeling good. I've had a couple of good practices here and we'll see what happens. (Tonight) is definitely a possibility," said Eaves. He hasn't suited up since he was nailed by Pittsburgh's Colby Armstrong in Game 3 of that series on April 15. If Eaves is ready to go, it's expected RW Oleg Saprykin will be taken out of the lineup.

NO WORRIES

Senators G Ray Emery said he won't be bothered by fans chanting his name in Buffalo. "It gets you going a bit more," said Emery. "You can kind of feed off of that. Even if they're screaming obscenities at you, it kinds of gets you motivated and pumped up." Emery said he's not concerned that he's been a big subject of Buffalo talk shows for the last 48 hours.


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