MONTREAL – When Chris Kelly looks at the NHL standings these days, he begins right at the top, where his Boston Bruins reside. But it’s not long before his eyes start going south, way down to the bottom where his former team occupies space these days.
In true Ottawa Senators fashion, Kelly was just getting off the exercise bike when he was told of his Feb. 15 trade to the Boston Bruins. The Senators have since tumbled to last overall in the league going into last night’s game against the New Jersey Devils.
And Kelly, who was in Montreal last night with the Bruins, feels for his former mates, the ones that are left after the dismantling that took place at the deadline.
“I do because I grew up with a lot of those guys and they’re good friends,” Kelly said. “You never want to see friends not do well, but they’ve got to take the positives from each game. I think they’ve been playing better lately and stringing some good games together.”
Kelly doesn’t take it personally that going into last night’s game, the Senators were a .500 team (4-4-1) since trading him to the Bruins for a second round draft pick. Like most, Kelly sees this season as an aberration. The Senators were not on anyone’s short list for a Stanley Cup this season, but there weren’t many people who would have thought they’d go into mid-March with the best chance to pick first overall in the draft, either.
“Going into the start of the season, we had pretty much the same team we had the previous year and we added (Sergei) Gonchar, which was a great signing, a puck-moving guy,” Kelly said. “But for whatever reason, this season was one disaster after another. Bad first periods, bad third periods and not being consistent on a nightly basis.”
But Kelly also acknowledges the Senators have to take personal responsibility for what went wrong. In reality, they were nowhere good enough to take nights off, which Kelly said occasionally happened.
“The league is too good to not show up each and every night and have your best,” Kelly said. “For a while there, we just got on a downward spiral.”
This article was originally published in Metro News. For more hockey commentary, check out Metro Sports.