Senators take a skate break on deadline day

One by one, Ottawa Senators players walked out of a downtown Boston sports club in gym clothes late Wednesday morning, fresh from a yoga class, ready to tackle whatever Beantown had to offer on a rare day away from the ice.

Senators take a skate break on deadline day
Dougie Hamilton #27 of the Boston Bruins checks against Mike Hoffman #68 of the Ottawa Senators at the TD Garden on April 2, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

BOSTON, Mass. — One by one, Ottawa Senators players walked out of a downtown Boston sports club in gym clothes late Wednesday morning, fresh from a yoga class, ready to tackle whatever Beantown had to offer on a rare day away from the ice.

Following back-to-back losses in which they’ve yielded dozens upon dozens of scoring chances — including Tuesday’s 3-2 defeat to the Boston Bruins in which they were outshot 50-47 — it was a welcome change of pace.

“I find it’s really important to have a day like this, where you can do stuff other than hockey, just to change things up,” said centre Kyle Turris, acknowledging that he was checking trade chatter on twitter every few minutes. “With how tough the regular season is, with how compact this one is, it’s mentally fatiguing. Having a day to relax, kind of get your mind off things — thinking about baseball and that sort of thing — it rejuvenates you.”

Defenceman Marc Methot says it was a break “to get out of our element, away from the arena for a change,” but had made no grand plans.

“I will walk around,” he said. “I like to people watch. It’s a big city here, there are a lot of characters floating around.”

Then there was tough guy Matt Kassian, who was seriously considering a different type of entertainment, only a two-minute walk from the club’s hotel.

“This is the first time I’ve been in Boston for more than a very brief moment and I was hoping there was a ballet in the afternoon,” he said. “I probably haven’t been to a ballet since I was 11 or 12 and my grandparents took me to the Nutcracker.”

When the Senators do return to practice at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Thursday, followed by a flight to Buffalo for Friday’s game against a trade-depleted Sabres lineup, they can expect coach Paul MacLean to pay special attention to the club’s defensive zone play. The sloppiness against the Bruins came on the heels of shaky play inside their own blueline during last Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“We’ve had plenty of defensive breakdowns (this season) where we’ve been saved by our goaltender or by another player,” said Methot. “Once in a while, they’re going to capitalize on those, but can’t afford to be having those lapses late in games at this time of year. We’re a young team and mistakes will happen. It’s how we handle them coming back.”

INJURY UPDATE

Mike Hoffman will have a second X-ray in Buffalo on Friday, but Senators general manager Bryan Murray believes he won’t be out too long after leaving Tuesday’s game following a hit by Boston’s Dougie Hamilton. Hoffman had missed eight weeks this season due to a broken collarbone and Murray said the hit caused a “shock on the scar tissue that had healed from the break.” Murray said “at this point, we think it will just take a little time to recover.”

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