It was day two of practice with the pared down group at Sens training camp on Monday as Paul MacLean put the team through another round of work. There were a pair of notable absences — Milan Michalek and Craig Anderson — who received maintenance days on Monday, while it appears Curtis Lazar and Eric Gryba are on the verge of a return.
Here's what Coach MacLean had to say...
Maintenance days for Michalek and Anderson. No anticipation of any further delays.
They both skated this morning and there's potential for them to be in the practice group tomorrow — I haven't talked to Gerry (Sens Head Trainer Gerry Townend) to see if it looks like everything went good so it looks like they're getting close to joining the group for practice and could be as early as tomorrow.
On Zibanejad up with Spezza/Ryan on the PP:
We thought we'd try it, we thought it was an opportunity to try and see what could happen. Mika shoots the puck really well and we thought we'd try to get him in a spot to do that and, in practice, see how it worked. We'll see how it goes, we'll keep working at it and see if it happens. That's the reason we did it today, Milo had the maintenance day, just to put Mika there and see if something good would happen.
On the line shuffling:
I think there's still a lot of possibilities for combinations and players, but there's a lot of things that go into the final decision of it. Right I don't think we're ready to make final decisions at this point of the schedule. We have three games in three nights, we're going to have to use a lot of players that are still here for training camp along with the game on the 29th, the split squad game. I think it's still pretty fluid, we're going to use a lot of different players in the games and try to give everyone an opportunity to show us what kind of player they are and what they can do for us and we'll go from there.
On his options for the second line:
Right now I've liked it. I think all four of the guys — if you include Mika in that group now — bring a different dimension to the game. Hoffman brings a dimension of speed and someone who can really shoot the puck. Conacher's got tenacity and skill with the puck. Mark Stone has size and good hands around the net, maybe not as good a skater. Mika brings power and speed and a big shot. There's a lot of different combinations you can put there and work in there and at some point in time we're going to have to decide who it is, but at this point in time a lot of them are still — we're trying to give them all an opportunity. That's hard to give them all the opportunity but at this point we're going to try another. We probably won't pick one guy to stick with until the end of camp.
On who the perfect fit would be:
I'm not sure who it would be. All three or four of those guys you mention have a good dimension. When I watch Turris' line in scrimmages and practices and games, they always seem to be dangerous. Is that MacArthur and Turris or is that the third guy on the ice? I think Turry has really skated well, him and MacArthur really seem to be getting something going so maybe the third guy can be a type of platoon thing. That's what it looks like right now, but at some point we have to decide on one guy. That point won't be until the end of camp.
On Turris' first line growth in 12-13:
I think it's going to be a benefit for him. I thought the year of growth that Kyle and Zack Smith had last year was probably the most important of any of the group with the adversity the team faced. They had to play against the other team's best lines and they did an outstanding job. Our team got to where it was with them playing against some of the best players in the league and plus our team defence and goaltending obviously. But those two guys going head to head with the best guys in the league, that's great growth for those players and I think they're more confident in their abilities heading into this year and I think when you bring in the dimension of a Jason Spezza in the lineup they have that can be dangerous certainly will open up opportunities for them and I really believe they're set up to have some success.
On the Toronto/Buffalo brawl:
That's Brendan's (Shanahan) job isn't it? Old time hockey — Eddie Shore, Paul MacLean, Randy Carlyle I guess. That's hockey.
On if he cautions players on discipline issues:
We'd certainly tell them not to do that, jump off the bench. We'd really encourage them not to do that. We might have to address that.
On the biggest challenges ahead:
I think it's the same, it's ourselves. Can we, on a daily basis, come in here and do the work we need to do to be successful? To me that's the biggest challenge that we face as a group. Can we put enough emphasis or pressure on ourselves and be as demanding on ourselves everyday? We've had some success doing that, are we going to get comfortable and start to cheat to get prepared for games or are we going to actually over-prepare, prepare — that's the challenge for us. It's not to be complacent with what we've done or assume that things are going to go our way just because we show up to play the games. We have to make sure the preparation is equal to the opportunity that's there in front of us and if we're not prepared to play we're going to get beat. That's the hardest thing or the biggest challenge, I guess.
On Joe Corvo:
Joe is a veteran player, he's played in the league a long time. He gives us good minutes and everything he has done here fine in the games he has played in and I think he's been a good. He has been a good addition.
On the goaltending plan:
Robin Lehner is going to play tomorrow night and play the game. The plan is to have them play whole games.
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