by Todd Anderson
Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is excited about what lies ahead for his team this season.
Melnyk says the Senators have the right mix of talent and speed, as well as grit, determination and toughness that will lead to improved play throughout the 82-game regular season. He looks at the season as a journey for the players and coaches, to prepare themselves to reach their peak when the playoffs arrive.
"This team is different," Melnyk said after watching this morning's practice. "We have grit and we have some tough guys. Sure we lost three great players, but we've added great players. You might not see us as flashy, but we're a tough team with a great attitude and great coaching. I couldn't have more confidence in them. I'm looking forward to seeing the team improve throughout the season."
After a 6-0 loss to provincial-rival Toronto Maple Leafs last night, head coach Bryan Murray pushed his players through a spirited skate today. Like Melnyk, he says he expects a better effort in the Senators' next game against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday at Scotiabank Place.
"We try to win every game. It's when you don't play well that's bothersome. We have the responsibility here to play hard every night. The fortunate part of this business is that we play lots of games."
Murray and captain Daniel Alfredsson shared a few moments on the ice after practice today speaking about what areas they feel the club can improve.
"We know we were outworked," Alfredsson said of last night's effort. "That's not acceptable. We can only get better. I don't think you'll see too many games like that.
"We had a really good practice today and we're a team that has always bounced back after a poor effort. Tomorrow will be no different."