Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Inconsistent Senators Struggling to Get Back into the NHL Playoff Picture

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Inconsistent Senators Struggling to Get Back into the NHL Playoff Picture

Article excerpt

Senators struggling with adversity

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OTTAWA - The Ottawa Senators know that every NHL season comes with highs and lows, and how they handle them will determine their level of success.

So far the Senators have struggled to deal with a season that has seen a coach fired and the team fall short of expectations. The result is that the Senators now finds themselves fighting to get back into the playoff picture.

Sitting 11 points back of the final playoff spot, the Senators know it's time to put aside all the distractions that have led them to this point.

"You can be guilty of getting too high and too low," said winger Bobby Ryan. "Right now with the position we're in it's a roller coaster. If you lose it's the end of the world and if you win there's some hope and light at the end of the tunnel for you. I think we've got a pretty good group of guys that are calling the shots and making sure guys aren't too up or too down."

Every time the team seems to turn a corner it takes a couple of steps back, leaving Ryan unwilling to declare the team on the right path following a 7-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday afternoon.

"I don't want to say yes," said Ryan, who has 16 points in his last 13 games. "We feel that way and we never quite seem to get there. I think the biggest part for us right now is not to have any kind of emotional letdown after a great third period.

"We've done a lot of good things and we've put a lot of good building blocks in place and you hope that we can kind of move forward with it."

The Senators take on the New Jersey Devils (19-22-9) Tuesday night and will be looking to win back-to-back games for the first time in a month.

"(Arizona) was a team that was struggling so we can't look too far ahead for ourselves," said winger Mark Stone. "We just have to string games together one at a time. …

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