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Jacques Martin and the Ottawa Senators making steps in the precise path Specific Occasions

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Jacques Martin was in a superb temper as he took questions from a small group of media assembled on the Canadian Tire Centre Wednesday morning.

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The Ottawa Senators’ interim head coach has each proper to be.

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Not solely have the Senators earned factors by going 3-0-1 of their final three video games, the membership is 4-1-1 in its final six and is displaying indicators of turning the nook in a season the place it’s been tough for them to get any traction.

After being appointed to the pinnacle teaching position on Dec. 18 by Steve Staios, the membership’s president of hockey operations and normal supervisor, when D.J.. Smith was fired, Martin and Hockey Corridor of Fame assistant Daniel Alfredsson have targeted on making an attempt to get this membership to play effectively at each ends.

The Senators wrapped up their two-game street journey with their second straight win Tuesday night time after a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on the Bell Centre. That got here on the heels of a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Sunday and you can begin to really feel the arrogance of this group constructing.

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“If I look again at our final 4 video games, we appear to be taking part in with extra dedication away from the puck,” Martin mentioned. “There appears to be extra of a spotlight of trusting one another and dealing collectively. Our penalty killing was fairly good. We needed to kill 5 penalties and we did a superb job.

“There’s enchancment throughout our recreation so far as being attentive to particulars on the technical facet. I’ve actually preferred, particularly the sport in Philly, I assumed we confirmed actually good composure once we had been behind in that recreation. We didn’t cheat, we didn’t change our recreation plan, we caught with it, we had been capable of grind it out and we got here out on prime.”

The Senators have their work reduce out for them Thursday night time with the top-ranked Boston Bruins on the town to start out a three-game residence stand and solely 4 video games left earlier than the NHL all-star break.

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However the membership went head-to-head in a battle with the Winnipeg Jets Saturday and dropped a 2-1 extra time determination in a recreation that might have gone both means. Martin has talked lots about getting the core gamers on this crew to participant with construction and dedication.

That message might be simpler to promote when the gamers see tangible ends in the win column. The Senators are 7-9-1 within the 18 video games that Martin has coached in his second stint behind the bench and are 4-1-1 within the final six.

“You imply my age and my years of expertise on this league aren’t simply ok for a few of these guys?,” Martin requested with a wry smile. “For positive, when you will get some wins and a few optimistic outcomes, that’s an enormous enhance and it’s an enormous issue.

“In any other case, you’ve bought to be exhausting (in giving the message) to them once more and you need to form of faucet them on the again. Getting some rewards with wins is an enormous issue.”

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The victory over the Habs was key as a result of the Senators could have bent within the third interval, however they didn’t break. Additionally they bought key stops at key instances from Joonas Korpisalo and Martin fast to tip his cap to the highest goalie’s effort after the win.

There’s been a number of instructing occurring right here since Martin took over and it’s taken awhile for the gamers to regulate to what’s been thrown their means. That is the form of stuff {that a} teaching employees normally institutes throughout coaching camp, not in early-January when the season is effectively below means.

However Martin famous the gamers are beginning to use their intuition.

“We’ve modified some methods to attempt to make it extra appropriate with the group that now we have,” Martin mentioned. “A giant a part of it’s simply working by way of video and understanding the significance of taking part in above the puck or above your man. We’re making an attempt to chop again on scoring possibilities (towards).

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“I’ve thought within the final three to 4 video games we had been fairly good.”

THE LAST WORDS

Defenceman Travis Hamonic, who left the membership’s recreation Sunday in Philly with an undisclosed damage within the first, wasn’t among the many gamers on the ice. He’ll miss his second straight with the Bruins on the town Thursday and Martin had no replace on when Hamonic would possibly return …  Centre Shane Pinto and his teammates wore extensive smiles after he scored his first of the season towards the Habs. He’d gotten a textual content from his father, Frank, earlier within the day saying he was going to get his first one which night time. “Then he mentioned I instructed you so. That was a fairly cool textual content I bought. Lots of people reached out in order that was fairly cool to see,” Pinto mentioned. It was additionally good that Pinto’s mom, Cathy, was within the constructing as a part of the Mother’s Journey to share the second … The one gamers on the ice Wednesday had been Dominik Kubalik, Artem Zub, Mark Kastelic, Pinto and goaltender Mads Sogaard. The remaining had been on the rink, however had been within the gymnasium. Kastelic has been a wholesome scratch for 2 straight whereas Kubalik has been out with a minor hip damage.

bgarrioch@postmedia.com

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