by Todd Anderson
The Ottawa Senators regular season will come to an end this week when they face the New Jersey Devils, tomorrow; Pittsburgh Penguins, on Thursday; and Boston Bruins on Saturday. With Ottawa almost guaranteed a first-round playoff meeting with either the Devils or Penguins, head coach Bryan Murray assessed both of those clubs today after practice.
"With New Jersey we talk about the trap and their defence and their excellence in that area, but boy are they ever creative in the offensive zone," Murray said. "(Patrick) Elias, (Brian) Gionta, (Scott) Gomez, you go down the list of guys. They move the puck, they find slot plays, they get scoring chances. They're a real good hockey team, a real tough hockey team. We know that. They're not going to give up many (goals), so if they break you down and get ahead of you it's a difficult task. You've got to be real patient and poised when you play New Jersey."
Murray expects a more wide-open series would result with a match up against Pittsburgh.
"I think Pittsburgh is very capable of scoring a lot of goals. They're pretty good defensively, but not quite as structured (as New Jersey). They've got real creative people and these young guys are only going to get better. I think (Mark) Recchi, (Gary) Roberts and a couple of other veterans bring a lot to the table for the youth. It would be more wide open, it would be more skating, more offence, more chances to score goals against Pittsburgh. But they're both tough."
Melnyk visits Kandahar Airfield
Click here to watch video highlights of Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk's visit with Canadian troops at the Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. The video can be accessed within the community section of the video gallery.