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Bobby Ryan before his first home game

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

Bobby Ryan, with one goal in his lone pre-season game, stands to be in the spotlight tonight when the Sens take on the Maple Leafs as it will be his first game wearing Sens colours in front of the Canadian Tire Centre crowd. Ryan spoke to the media about getting in front of the Ottawa audience, his relationship with Leafs coach Randy Carlyle and more today after the team's morning skate.

Here's what he had to say...

On the Toronto/Ottawa rivalry:

I think it's more magnified than LA and Anaheim but I can see the correlation between the two. I understand from listening to the guys it'll be about half and half in the stands and it'll almost feel like an away game at times. I'm looking forward to feeling that kind of intensity through the crowd even though it's pre-season and I'm looking forward to seeing how the sides react.

On his history with Leafs coach Randy Carlyle:

It was just one of those things where I was young and took things a little personally. I think he was a little harder on me than he needed to be at times and I think that stepping back from that now I realize it probably wasn't the way I saw it. It was more Randy trying to do the best, making his best intentions for me and trying to push me and motivate me, but sometimes I felt like he went about it the wrong way and that was all it really was. There was never really any back and forth yelling matches like people seem to think there were behind closed doors, we actually had good conversations and good talks but at the end of the day people seem to think it was going to be me or him at one point. I don't know if that was the case or not, but when he was moved it is what it is. You move on and you play. Now we're in the same conference and division and we're going to see a lot of each other and hopefully we can put it behind us because it's not one of those things where I'll be yelling at him from the ice and I don't think he'll be yelling at me from the bench.

On if Carlyle made him a better player:

Absolutely he did. Again, as I said yesterday, he's a very, very demanding coach but he's very fair at the same time. He rewards the players that do what that do what they're told and perform what they're asked to perform so I learned a lot under him. I came into the NHL under him and went from a guy that was kind of up and down as a 20 year old to a 21 year old who scored 30 and that was just basically fitting into his system and learning the ins and outs from him every day. I can certainly say he made me a better player.

On if he has pre-game jitters today:

Yeah, it's a good jitter, a good nervous. We've only been on this ice twice as well so getting a feel for the building is going to be important before you get 41 games here in the regular season. It feels like it has been building for a long time even though it's been a couple of months so I'm excited to get it out of the way and move forward and get ready for the regular season.

On his play with Spezza and Michalek:

It has been good, I think we're getting better every day. I think we're starting to learn a little bit more about each other every day about where Spezz likes the puck and which angles Milo likes to take to the net. Things like that, once you pick on those things, you get better as a unit. Really that's just a feeling out process and the time and a trial and error process so I hope we'll be a lot better than we were in Winnipeg even though I think we were pretty good. We have a long ways to go.

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