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MacLean bothered he still has to tell Sens to play harder

Mar 8, 2014, 9:51 AM EDT

Head coach Paul MacLean of the Ottawa Senators watches from the bench during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena on October 15, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona. The Senators defeated the Coyotes 4-3 in overtime.
(October 14, 2013 - Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

With the Ottawa Senators playoff hopes rapidly fading, tensions rose in Friday’s practice until teammates Jared Cowen and Chris Neil literally came to blows.

Senators coach Paul MacLean remarked that the team needs more of that, though preferably when they’re actually playing games.

If the theme of last season was that of an underrated group finding ways to win despite missing many of their key players due to injuries, then this year is about failing to live up to the expectations of others by putting forth a questionable effort.

That seems to be how Senators coach Paul MacLean sees it, who admitted that he’s bothered by the fact that we’re now in March and he still has to talk about the team’s work ethic.

“Every day we come to work, it’s ‘why don’t we play harder, why aren’t we a better group?’ That’s the things that we discuss every day, and we’re still searching for a solution,” MacLean told the Ottawa Citizen.

“All I know is we have 19 more games to play, and we’ve got to keep working on it. We can’t just let it slide, we have to continue to work at it. This isn’t just a one-year type of thing.”

Ottawa is six points shy of a Wild Card spot and they would need to pass four teams in order to make the postseason. They will play against Winnipeg at 3:00 p.m. ET today.

  1. bsaures - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    Theres a couple major problems the team has this year.

    1. The goailes are not bailing them out of games like they did last year. Anderson is averaging almost 1.4 goals against more per game. For a team that is average when it comes to scoring they cant afford a extra goal or two against every game.

    2.KArlsson cant be playing 27 + mins a night. He averages 6 more mins than the next highest dman. He is solid as a defender but not elite defensively and it is causing too many goals. Onlly Byfuglien and Yandle have been on for more Goals against 5 on 5.

    3. Spezza and Michalek have been horrible this year. I know +- doesnt always tell the full story but -24 when Turris on the same team is a + 16. thats a 40 goal 5 on 5 difference.

    • dueman - Mar 8, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      You lost me at “Karlsson is a solid defender” but your #1 point says it all.

  2. spezzdispenser - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    It bothers me that the same team thrived last year despite injuries to its best players, and now with a relatively healthy squad they’re losing to Edmonton and Calgary on back to back nights (among other terrible showings). Too bad they’ll miss the playoffs, they’re decent on paper.

  3. joey4id - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Why does a coach have to repeat that they have to play harder at this time of the year? 1) he’s lost the dressing room 2) the GM failed to make changes to change the dynamics of the team

    MacLean will probably be looking for a job next year, or the GM needs to make some changes in the locker room.

    Keeping the locker room united is precisely why Yzerman had to trade the disgruntled St. Louis.

    • angrytwitterguy - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:23 PM

      Nobody gives a damn about your opinion or comments weirdo. You have been busted yet again for creating multiple accounts in order to be your usual needy self.

      Why haven’t you been banned again?
      Do we need to start reporting all your posts just so we can see you and your 4 accounts go away?

      • valoisvipers - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:35 PM

        @angrytwit Who died and left you in charge of the internet? Joey posts are way more reverent than any of yours. Take your cookie and crawl back under your bridge.

      • angrytwitterguy - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        Joey, everyone already knew that Valo is your account as well.

        I mean someone actually made an ID that said valoisjoey months ago.

        Many posts were made about it, and you come back to it? LOL WOW

      • angrytwitterguy - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:57 PM

        I can link a half dozen posts where you “two” are loving each other up and patting each other on the back, another dozen where you post right after joey agreeing with him, and another half dozen where others looked at your posting history and knew you and joey were the same person.

        Seriously? You seeeeeeriously went back to Valo for this?

        Again, James, Ryan, Cam, anyone, WHY is he still here?
        You telling me that you DIDN’T notice that when you banned joey, that all of his other accounts previous posts disappeared as well and that they all stopped posting with that one IP ban?

      • angrytwitterguy - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:03 PM

        Yas didn’t notice that when he got banned and people were posting about how glad they were that the thumbs up to thumbs down was a 100 plus thumbs up to less than 10 thumbs down?

        And for some reason he’s back, and back to pulling the same junk as before.

  4. phillyphanatic77 - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    Much like the Islanders people jumped on the Senators bandwagon prematurely. It’s true they admirably survived numerous injuries last season but it was during a shortened campaign. Sure they’re good enough to be a playoff participant but some folks were picking them to come out of the East this season. But they really don’t have the depth up front or on the blueline to reach that level… yet. Plus their goalies haven’t been bailing them out this year.

  5. holymakinaw - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    I’m just glad we don’t see that smirk on the bug eyed walrus anymore…….and ‘If I’m me”….

  6. csilojohnson - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    Maybe they should replace him with his doppleganger.
    In all fairness though Chris Neil was just working on his ‘game’.
    Can we expect any less from him during practice?

  7. sens101 - Mar 8, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    Penalties are killing them this year as well. Their pk is a big reason why they are losing games. Bad penalties and bad pk is not a recipe for success. Hate to say it but they miss alfie’s leadership and calming influence.

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