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Coach MacLean after Wednesday practice

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

The NHL season is underway which meant another day of prep work for the Sens ahead of their tilt with the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. Sens head coach Paul MacLean had his usual post-practice availability at Canadian Tire Centre today and offered up his thoughts on a bevvy of topics.

Here's what he had to say...

On the power play improving from last season:

Well the parts that could make us lethal are healthy this year so that should make us better right away having Jason and Erik being 100% healthy, that's certainly going to help the percentage of our power play. I think also the additions of Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur, I believe, gives us two units that could compete against one another for the opportunity to be out there and also with the addition of Stephane Da Costa to the group, there's potential for even another group that could be in the competition to be out there so I think, again, the competition from within has a chance to make us better.

On Kyle Turris' pre-season and camp:

In my opinion I thought he was fine, I thought he was very good. I think he has showed that he is stronger, his skating has been great, I think that the year that he had last year, the growth that he had last year I think is really going to show this year. We anticipate that he'll get off to a good start.

On concerns about the size of the team's centremen:

Not right now, until we play a game and see how it goes. The speed and the quickness of our centres is very good and if we can have the puck it shouldn't be a big issue. Our competition level has been very good and we'll see how it goes from here, but at this time we don't anticipate it being an issue.

On fighting re: George Parros' injury in Montreal:

It was an unfortunate accident obviously for George in that situation. I truly believe that hockey is a game that needs fighting in it as a police. In reality, 85 per cent of the players don't fight. For the most part it's out of the game for a lot, it's only about 15 per cent of the players that actually get into the fisticuffs. I'm not a big fan of the staged version of it, but when two guys are on the ice competing against one another over and over and over again I think at some point in time there has to be a release of some kind. I think fighting allows that to happen, to me, in a way safer way — we're one of the few sports where you're allowed to carry a weapon — so if you don't have the release, what happens next? That would be my concern.

On hockey as one of the few sports that allows players to stay after fighting:

I'm a fan of hockey and it's in hockey so it's part of what makes me a fan of hockey.

On Bobby Ryan taking more responsibility in Ottawa than Anaheim:

I think we're going to give him that opportunity, I mean in Anaheim he was possibly on the second power play, might now have even hopped over the boards on the first power play all the time. Those opportunities are there for him. He's going to play in a top six, a top three role, all the time so it's a responsibility of preparation on a nightly basis to go with that and we feel he's ready, he's already a known factor in the league that he can — he's scored 30 goals in the league so he's a bona fide player that can do that and we're going to give him the opportunities he needs to get better.

On hybrid icing:

I think has been really insignificant — you don't really notice it too, too often. I think it kind of came naturally. I think the one thing it does do is it makes it — that race for the puck is still in the game, that's a real hustle play for a lot of players — but what it takes out is it makes that last ditch effort of the guy trying to touch the puck first where the stick gets tangled up in the skates and that propels the players into the boards with a significant injury. Taking that part of the game out, I think, is good.

On if there is concern about referee's discretion:


On if he watched the Leafs/Habs last night:

I didn't watch the whole game, no.

On if he'll watch the Red Wings tonight:

They're playing Buffalo, right? We'll watch it because they're playing Buffalo, yeah. It's been three years since I was there, they've changed so much.

On if he's curious to see 11 for the Red Wings:

No, I've seen Dan Cleary play lots. I'm more concerned with what Buffalo has on the ice, we don't play Detroit until later in the month.

Sens TV has Coach MacLean's full availability here:

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