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Dorion backs Smith amid Sens skid: 'D.J. is our coach and he's going to be our coach'

D.J. Smith D.J. Smith - The Canadian Press

With the Ottawa Senators struggling to start the season, general manager Pierre Dorion reiterated his support for head coach D.J. Smith on Monday.

The Senators, who have lost five straight games, are 4-7-0 this season after an off-season that left fans with high expectations. 

"Pierre Dorion is very loyal. D.J. has done a good job and he's shown that he can win," Dorion said. "I'm not giving votes of confidence... D.J. is our coach and he's going to be our coach."

Smith, 45, is in his fourth season as head coach of the Senators, with the team missing the playoffs in each of his first three years. The Senators had their best season under Smith in 2021-22, posting a 33-42-7 record.

The Senators made major splashes in the off-season, acquiring winger Alex DeBrincat from the Chicago Blackhawks and goalie Cam Talbot from the Minnesota Wild on the trade market and signing veteran forward Claude Giroux to a three-year deal in free agency.

Talbot was sidelined by injury to the start season before debuting in Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. DeBrincat has two goals and nine points in 11 games, while Giroux has six goals and 10 points in 11 games.

Ottawa has not reached the playoffs since pushing the Pittsburgh Penguins to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final in 2017. 

The skidding team will host the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night in the last of a three-game homestand.