Tired of excuses

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- At least they have a good excuse.

Not counting meaningless exhibitions, tomorrow night's game will be the Senators' 100th this season.

They should be downright exhausted.

Eighty-two regular season games. Seventeen in the playoffs. And still, they're being asked for more? C'mon. That's bordering on slave labour.

They started this thing up Oct. 4, almost eight full months ago. The Toronto Maple Leafs have been on the golf course for, what, seven weeks now? This is not fair. Who else out there has to put in such long and torturous overtime?

Oh wait. The Anaheim Ducks do, and much more. In fact, Wednesday's win over the Senators was their 100th game of the season. That's a full hour of extra time than Ottawa has had to put in. Arduous, when it's so warm out.

Yet somehow the Ducks seem energized. Like they want it a lot more.

FIND THE STRENGTH

They dug down and found the strength to get almost twice as many pucks on Ray Emery as the Senators directed at J.S. Giguere on Wednesday. The shots on goal count was an embarrassing 31-16. The final was 1-0, but it could have easily been 3-0 or 4-0 or even 5-0.

Emery had to make some big saves. Really, when it was over he should have been asked to take a post-game bow. Instead, Giguere was named the third star, after Sammy Pahlsson and Rob Niedermayer.

Backup Ilja Bryzgalov had to put on those big goalie pads, too, which means he did almost as much as Giguere.

What has happened to your Senators, people? What has become of their drive to the Stanley Cup? It's starting to look as though they're running out of gas.

It's starting to look like they're content just being there.

What gives?

"No question, they do a good job," Dany Heatley said after Game 2 when asked whether the Ducks are playing a different style than the Senators have seen this season. "Whether it's subtle or whether it's blatant, they definitely play a real holdup style, defensive style. We have to find ways to play through it."

Heatley was asked if that isn't supposed to be illegal now. "Yeah," he said. "It is."

Ah, the zebras will notice soon enough. Just wait. At any moment now they'll start calling the hooking and the holding and the interference the Ducks are apparently doing.

Or not.

Or the Senators can bear down a little harder. They can dust off some determination and bring it tomorrow. They can swear to start testing Giguere and live up to the vow.

They can still come back and beat these Ducks. Not the way they've been going, though. No, they're going to get swept putting 16 shots on net a night.

They have to test the guy in the mask. Giguere is big, but he isn't so tough. The Detroit Red Wings chased him from a game less than two weeks ago. Mike Fisher rolled one up his arm and into the net Monday. It was nothing special. But it was also one of only 20 shots Ottawa took at Giguere in Game 1, too. That's still not enough.

Heatley was asked a poorly put question about the Senators' lack of desperation Wednesday.

"We're not trying to lose," he said.

They're not trying hard enough to win, either. And that's the problem.

UH-OH MOMENTS

Thought Joe Corvo was getting off a little easy for his play on the lone goal after Game 2. While Sammy Pahlsson did make the good move and shot Bryan Murray said he did, how is it Corvo winds up with his backside to the shooter, especially on a solo rush that started at the Ducks blue line? There has to be better defensive positioning there ... Also, it looked like Pahlsson received the Jason Pominville treatment by Daniel Alfredsson on the goal. The captain laid off, perhaps trusting Corvo, when in hindsight he should have skated Pahlsson hard into the boards ... It was a travel day for Team Sun yesterday too, which means the boys and I were at LAX for 5 a.m. (PST). With two hours until takeoff, Bruce "Sideways" Garrioch and Tony "Trigger" Caldwell decided to grab some breakfast at McDonald's. Ahead of him in the line -- Iron Mike Tyson. What did he eat? "Children," replied Sideways. Tyson did say he was going to do that, didn't he?


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