Time for Redden to move on

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:18 PM ET

In what was surely his final appearance wearing a home jersey at Scotiabank Place, Wade Redden had his ups and downs.

It was his carefully directed shot from the point that led to Cory Stillman's only goal, and he also delivered the game's best open-ice hit when he caught Evgeni Malkin in the neutral zone. Alas, Redden coughed up the puck to Sidney Crosby in the Penguins zone on the giveaway that led to the empty-net goal.

"We kind of lost our way," he said of summing up the season and the abysmal playoff showing. "Just being a team, I don't think you saw the best of us. That's the most disappointing thing."

It's almost a guarantee Redden will not be offered a new deal before he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1 -- or if he is, it will be nowhere near what he'll be able to get from another team. He admitted thinking about the fact his 11-year association with the team and this city was coming to an end.

"Looking back at the big picture, it's been a great time," he said, choosing to pass on the question of whether he even wanted to come back next year. "Obviously, it's disappointing right now and I don't want to make a decision based on what's happened in the near past. Obviously, a lot of factors go into it. I can say nothing bad about the city or the guys on the team. Obviously, I have a lot of great memories around here. It's something to sit down with my family and figure out."

As an all-around good guy and popular figure in the community, Redden will certainly be missed. For the way he has played this season and the salary he commands, it is time he goes elsewhere for a fresh start.

Starts and stops

Another playoff series, another slump for Dany Heatley. Why? "I'm wondering the same thing," the Senators' most prolific goal scorer said. "You go through streaks where it's going in the net, and you go through streaks where it's not. Couple bounces here and there gets you back on track. I couldn't seem to find that this series." ... Early in the day, Senators coach and GM Bryan Murray was asked to name his best players three games into the series. His first star was Martin Gerber. His second was Shean Donovan. He bowed out of the little game at that point, presumably because the rest were tied for last ... Donovan, also eligible to become an unrestricted free agent, was asked about his wishes after the morning skate. "I'm just kind of dealing with the playoffs right now," he said. "I'm from Ottawa, I love it here and I love the organization. (The decision) is a long ways away ... hopefully a lot of games away." ... In case you missed it, owner Eugene Melnyk told CBC during the game that Murray's job is safe ... The desperate Senators were outshot 14-5 in the first period, and they can't blame that on power plays as Pittsburgh only had one. Nope, Ottawa was merely outworked. Again ... Antoine Vermette was the second Senator to miss an open side (the first being Chris Neil, in the opening period) when he put wide a setup from Cody Bass on a short-handed 2-on-1. Malkin scored the game's first goal seconds later ... The winning goal? It was Jason Spezza's inability to take a pass (from Daniel Alfredsson) that would have given him a partial breakaway followed up by his inability to make a pass (to Brian Lee) that gave Jarkko Ruutu a partial breakaway. The rest is history.

It makes you go hmm...

It's baffling that it took the officials so long to wave off the second-period would-be goal that Vermette clearly kicked in. Never mind any explanations about the possibility it went off a defenceman's stick, the first replay clearly showed it wasn't going to count ... Nick Foligno displayed another strong flash along the boards and taking the puck to the top of the right-wing circle before unleashing a shot that led to the rebound on Vermette's non-goal ... Eliminated from last night's pre-game hype was the goofy Gladiator, thank God. Word is the schtick was a brainchild of Melnyk, who had a multi-appearance deal with the bad actor that included commercials. Guess G Ray Emery's contract isn't the only one Melnyk will have to eat ... Unfortunately, the bongo drum players were brought back for Game 4. Talk about annoying ... Promotions for the upcoming movie Get Smart appeared on the scoreboard during stops in play. Clearly, the Senators players weren't watching ... Extremely dumb slashing penalties were taken by Heatley and Christoph Schubert in the second period. Heatley's proved to be costly.

Between periods

April 16 is the earliest the Senators off-season has started since 1996 ... Alfredsson was the only player from either side to skate over and shake the hands of all the officials after the game ... Truth be known, the fans were never in this series, either. The atmosphere and their excitement level was almost non-existent ... Grilled for personal information about Malkin, Maxime Talbot grew incredulous with the simple questions the other day. Finally, Talbot blurted: "He's not an alien," Talbot said of his roommate. "He's Russian." ... Telling stat: The total shots on goal in the series were 161-112 Penguins ... Yeah, but imagine how the Senators would have done if they hadn't been without Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly, Heatley and Spezza ... A reward should offered to anyone who can find the Senators' power play this summer. It's been missing for weeks.


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