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Allen Panzeri, CanWest News Service; Ottawa Citizen
Published: Monday, February 05, 2007


OTTAWA - For Wade Redden, one of the deadliest sins in hockey is complacency.

Once a team starts thinking that it's comfortable, watch out. That invariably means trouble.

The Ottawa Senators are starting to show the symptoms.

After winning five games in a row and six of seven from Jan. 3-Jan. 16, they've since lost three of their past six.

If you're a glass-half-full type, that could also be viewed as three wins in their past six games. But no one was sugarcoating it Sunday.

The Senators know full well that they'll be cutting it terribly close if they keep playing .500 hockey.

"So much can happen from night to night," said Redden.

"When you look at how close all the teams are in the division and the conference, I don't think we've worked ourselves into any comfort level, where we can think we've made it.

"We've obviously had a great month, but it's still going to be a fight to the end.

"We've put ourselves in a good spot. We've kind of had to be great here to get ourselves where we are now.

"There's no way we want to rest on our laurels and think our work's done. It's only beginning."

It just so happens that coach Bryan Murray was thinking about exactly the same thing Sunday.

He spent some time with his assistant coaches discussing how to reinforce this message before three key division games this week: against Buffalo on Wednesday, and then home-and-home against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday and Saturday.

He wasn't hitting the panic button but he hasn't been impressed, either.

"There are teams that are playing real well now," he said.

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