Dallas – Only eight games played in his NHL coaching career, D.J. Smith already carries frustration with Ottawa's Senate renewal efforts.
A series of slow starts by the team as a whole, coupled with inconsistent efforts by individual players and a steady parade through the sixth, gave the Senators a record in the NHL basement with a 1-6-1 lead in Wednesday's game against the Detroit Red Wings in Canada. tire center.
"You have to be a professional in this league," Smith said, after the team's pointless effort in Monday's 2-1 defeat to the Dallas Education, covering a 0-2-1 road trip.
"To stay in this league, you have to compete every night. And sometimes, if you haven't, you just need to know how to make mistakes. Some guys had a tough time against a really competitive team. "
Don't be fooled by the results against the stars. If not for goalkeeper Anders Nilsson, the Senators would be dead and buried early in the first period, just as they were in a 5-2 defeat to the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.
Unable to create anything close to a reasonable prognosis, the ice was chewed at the end of the senators 'defense of her heels against the Stars' attack.
If senators hope for some success, they should at least partially reverse that pressure, grinding the opposition.
"It's critical," said defender and deputy captain Ron Heinz. "The only way to not be in your half (on the ice) is to be in their half. It is much easier to defend when the other team is tired at the end of the shift and punished. "
Not surprisingly, senators lack the talent of most opponents.
It may take years for Ottawa to prepare and develop young prospects to reach the depth and skill and skill that Vegas, Arizona, and Dallas have witnessed over the past week.
But while few expect senators to keep up with the elite provisions of the NHL, the level of effort – especially early in the game – is worrying.
Smith moved forward here, there and everywhere, including prolonged stays on the bench, in order to send the message that the level of determination was not close enough to good enough. Anthony Duclar watched and saw something else in the final half of Monday's game against the educators, finishing with just 9:09 of ice time.
"If you don't play hard enough, you can't play," Smith said. "Keep on trying different guys and eventually find the solution. There are some good guys in that room who are caring and trying, and we will get back to work. "
Winged forward Vladislav Namestikov, who scored for the Senators late against Dallas, has been shining ever since he was acquired by the New York Rangers. The Jeananne-Gabriel Pegau Center imposed the road on the first line. Brady Takachuk had a few glorious games but tried to differentiate between the crease and the scrolls against the Stars.
Perhaps with a free day of rest and reflection on Tuesday, Smith and his players will be refreshed before meeting the "Red Wings".
But there are bigger questions at stake as it is a really long season.
If the 2019-2020 campaign is for a foundation tomorrow, isn't it time to send rookie rookie Eric Bransstrom back to Belleville for the American Hockey League?
Instead of being overwhelmed by the constant pressure of the opposition, endangering him in his own zone, wouldn't Branstrom be better off by restoring his offensive confidence along with Logan Brown, Drake Batterson, Alex Formenton and Josh Norris in Belleville?
At this point, 10-year-old pro Cody Golubef has not played a single second, a healthy zero for the first eight games.
As it is now, team leaders should do everything possible to keep the mood optimistic, emphasize the positives wherever they can find them.
Of course it's easier said than done.
"This is a difficult part for the NHL," said defense captain and deputy captain Mark Borowetski. "When you get into this kind of thing, you don't just leave. Teams won't give you a chance to go back to that. "
Red wings, Borojetsky says, are loaded with speed and their point of proof. Resilience is vital.
"The older guys, the leaders, need to step up a little bit and grab this horny job and take ownership," he said.
"It won't be fixed overnight or anything. It's about learning and growing in this league. You make mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. I'm making tons of mistakes. But it's about dropping them off and trying to make up for them in the next shift. At the moment, we're not there. "
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