Senators head coach Paul MacLean updated the media ahead of the team's trip to Winnipeg for a pre-season date with the Jets. Here's what he had to say...
He's not going to play tonight, he took a shot — I don't know if it was his foot or his hand — so we're going to keep him out and put Cowen in... I think it's just a bad bruise. We could have taped his hand to the stick I guess and made him play. We have plenty of players.
On the increased challenge of playing a team on the road:
I think playing on the road, there's that factor (teams ice better home lineups) in the exhibition season but there's an opportunity, we feel, to test and see our players and how they react in a building like Winnipeg. It's a loud building, it's not really big, it's loud, they come out really hard, it's going to be a good test for our group. That's what training camp is all about is putting people in situations and see how they react to it and how they deal with it. We're looking forward to tonight to see how this group comes and plays.
On what he wants to work on in the remaining practice days:
I think for us it's going to be continued work in the defensive zone, particular focus on special teams, power play, penalty kill and 4-on-4. Also those faceoff situations, whether it's 6-on-5 or 6-on-4, different faceoff scenarios that we have, we're going to try to focus on those aspects of our game leading up to the start of the season, starting tomorrow.
On if he has been happy with the amount of special teams work to-date:
I think we've done it, we've used everybody is the difference. When we come back tomorrow and work on special teams, it's going to be specific people that are going to be on that power play unit and be on another power play unit. We're trying to define who's going to be on them but we feel this week before the season is a good time to get out and get working on it on a regular basis with the people that are going to be on it.
On if Smith can play a more offensive role than in the past:
Well, we certainly want to see if he can. This is an opportunity for him to play up the lineup and maybe in some situations he hasn't in the past. It's an opportunity for Zack to grow as a player. I think he has really grown as a player away from the puck and in the faceoff circle and in that defensive type of role he has been in. Now we want to see if there is some offence in his game and give him an opportunity to bring in out.
On what he has liked about Puempel:
Other than the fact the puck goes in the net when he shoots it? That's the only thing we like about him. I think his attention to his fitness level and the things Randy Lee and Chris Schwarz talk about with our young players, he's a fine example of the dedication he has put in to that type of work. His skating, his strength, it really has helped him come along in a short time. Right now he's giving a good account of himself. The puck goes in the net for him, that's the biggest thing you see with him, even in practice the puck goes in. We need people that put the puck in the net.
On playing Puempel with Zibanejad and Chiasson:
He's earned it, he has been a pretty consistent player through the rookie camp and our trip to Newfoundland and everyday in practice, he has been a consistent player as far as the puck going in the net. Tonight he's earned an opportunity to play with Mika and Chiasson and we'll see how it goes.
On what they've learned about Chiasson:
I think what you find out is about how good of people they are. You see them play on the other team and wish we had one of those on our team and we could get that guy on our team. You see their ability to play a little bit more. When you get them on your team you find out what kind of people they are and what makes them tick and I think Alex, we're starting to get to know him a bit more but he has a great passion for the game. He loves to come to the rink and work at his game and there's lots of things we like about him.
On how close they are to naming a captain:
Every day it gets closer but we're not prepared to right now. It's a process we're going to go through and we're going to sit down this week, today and tomorrow and until we get it sorted out, but it's not something we're in a particularly big hurry to do even though we've said we'd like to have it by the end of training camp. We're going to go through the process and make sure.
On Dziurzynski being on the NHL radar:
I think he has never really left the radar, it was more of an opportunity that we were a pretty healthy hockey team last year and when we made the call down to Binghamton, "Who's the best player?" they never said his name. It has more to do with how other guys played in Binghamton than how David played. Since I've been here he has been a dependable player when he's been up here, he does what we ask him to do. That size and that skating ability and that reach is something he has and that competitiveness he brings is important as well.