BOSTON -- In 2007-08, Joe Corvo, Chris Kelly and Jason Spezza were all members of the Ottawa Senators. Since then, their hockey careers have taken divergent paths, but will intersect again tonight on the ice at TD Garden when the Bruins host the Sens.
"There was quite a bit of a turnover and I maybe don't know the guys as well as years in the past," said Kelly, who was traded to Boston from Ottawa last season, of the new look Senators, who come into the game in second place in the Northeast Division and winners of their last six contests.
"Obviously we know they're going to come out and work hard," added Kelly, selected by the Ottawa Senators in the 3rd round (#94 overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. "That's been evident in every game they've played.
"They battle right to the final buzzer and they've found ways to win."
Spezza, selected by Ottawa in the 1st round (#2 overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, says his Senators learned some hard lessons early this season.
"We got embarrassed there in a couple games early on in the year and we didn't feel like we were playing to our potential," said the Sens' forward. "We had a couple of dramatic comebacks that gave us some confidence and since then we've played pretty complete games and been a little more patient than maybe we were early in the year; just letting the games come.
"That's something we can learn from some of the better teams is sometimes it takes a full 60 to win games and we've done a better job of that this year."
That's something that the Bruins, farmous for their full game efforts during last springs Stanley Cup run, could re-learn from their Canadian cousins, too.
"I think they're pretty hot right now," said Corvo, who played 127 games in Ottawa during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. "As far as that's concerned, it's a game that we need to have, to try and put the first 10 games behind us and move forward.
"So it will be a good test, that's for sure," added Joe. "For sure, it will help everyone to be sharper and to be prepared for the game."
Kelly said that the Senators penchant for dramatics is important to note, as well.
"They've gotten a couple of late goals -- I mean really late -- to win games, so we know they're going to come out and battle and work hard," said Kelly. "They have a good power play, so that being said I think we need to focus on staying out of the box and trying to have a more consistent 60-minute effort."
The Sens are hoping to keep those consistent efforts coming.
"When you're winning games, it's definitely a better atmosphere to be around," said Spezza. "I don't think we feel like we've accomplished much yet, though. I think we still feel like we've got a long way to go; just trying to continue to get better and continue to work.
"It's fun winning. You have to find a way to keep winning, and it's hard to do in this league, so when you are playing well you have to try to keep doing the same things."
And that's particularly important against he Stanley Cup champs in their own building.
"It's a benchmark game for sure," said Spezza. "We think they're one of the best teams in the east and I don't care what the standings say -- they're the Stanley Cup champions and have some great players and three deep lines and six real good defensemen and one of the best goalies in the league.
"So, this isn't a team you take lightly," continued Ottawa's alternate captain. "This is an arena that's it's hard to come in and play in. They clog things up and make it hard on you.
"For us, we just need to make sure we're at the top of our game tonight or they can make it a long night for you," he said.