GARRIOCH: Ottawa Senators can’t wait to turn the page for December

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“I don’t know why there would be a reason to remember November, everyone’s done with that.”

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The Ottawa Senators are ready to turn the page.

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Refreshed and ready after a few days of healing their injuries after a four-game Western Conference winless road trip, the Senators were back on the ice on Tuesday for a one-hour practice session. as they prepare to host the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday. night at the Canadian Tire Center.

Starting a five-game streak in seven days, the Senators have their work cut out for them as they hit the 20-game mark of the season, and after a 1-10-1 record in November, they need to put in what happened behind them trying to get back on track as the schedule turns to December.

On top of all the losses and struggles to keep the puck out of their net, the Senators found themselves with 10 players and associate coach Jack Capauano in the COVID-19 protocol.

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“I don’t know why there would be a reason to remember the month of November, everyone is done with that,” said coach DJ Smith. “It’s a month as tough as any player, staff, management or owner who has faced all the losses, COVID-19, injuries and everything that has happened.

“We’re done and couldn’t be happier moving on to December. When we watched December this summer we thought it would be our toughest month with the teams we were playing against. If you look at our schedule, the teams we’re playing against this month are the toughest and there’s no better way to feel good, and that’s to beat a good team.

“We have to play better and we have to find a way to beat a good team to feel good about ourselves.”

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Ottawa Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot and his teammates listen to instructions during practice on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.
Ottawa Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot and his teammates listen to instructions during practice on Tuesday, November 30, 2021. Photo by Errol McGihon /POSTMEDIA

The Senators were greeted with a few new faces for this one.

Winger Drake Batherson, the club’s top scorer, was the last player to come out of COVID-19 on Tuesday and he will be in the lineup against the Canucks with newly acquired center Adam Gaudette. He was picked up on waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

He skated in a line on Tuesday with Alex Formenton on the left and Zach Sanford on the right. Although he has been used as a winger in Chicago, Gaudette is more comfortable in the middle and understands his role.

“I’ve played center all my life and I’m delighted to be back where I’m most comfortable,” said Gaudette. “I don’t mind playing on the wing and I’ll play wherever I need to, but I think I’m more of a natural cross. I worked on my face-offs because I couldn’t take too much this year.

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“I feel like I’ve improved on these over the past year, so I’m excited to get into games and take that part of my game forward.”

The Senators need help in the middle. Centers Shane Pinto and Colin White are both pretty much finished for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery. The club have Clark Bishop in the system, but he’s at Belleville after missing the first two months of the season with an ankle injury.

General manager Pierre Dorion is looking for solutions, which is why the club struck a deal with the San Jose Sharks for Dylan Gambrell last month and picked up Gaudette, 25, at the weekend.

The Senators are looking for answers and trying to make a trade has proven difficult, so it’s worth giving Gaudette a try. He has had success in the past.

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“That’s why we keep trying: Gambrell, Gaudette, (Logan) Shaw, we’ve been through a bunch. You’re not expected to lose your second and third crosses at the start of the year, ”Smith said. “It’s hard to replace the guys in the middle of the year. Nobody is going to give up crosses, especially the guys who played in the league.

“We’re going to do everything we can to try to consolidate that and win a few games.”

Gaudette brings 168 games of experience to the NHL. He has 23 goals and 58 points during his career. He would like to go back in time to the 2019-2020 campaign with the Canucks when he had 12 goals and 33 points in 59 games. He will also have the opportunity to help on the power play here.

“My style of play is to play hard, play fast and keep my feet moving on the ice,” said Gaudette. “I bring a lot of energy to the game and I try to pass it on to the bench. I just want to try to make an effect.

“I think one of my strengths is shooting the puck. I love to shoot the puck and feel like over the last couple of years I haven’t really been able to show this attribute as much as I would like. So whenever I get the chance, I’ll try to shoot on goal and help produce. I think I can be solid in the defensive zone as well and I think I resumed my game this summer, compared to the last two years, and I’m happy to show it.

bgarrioch@postmedia.com

Twitter: @sungarrioch

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