The Sens had their final practice at Canadian Tire Centre before taking off for their season opener against Buffalo on Friday. After the skate, Paul MacLean had his usual media session and looked ahead to getting the season going.
Here's what he had to say...
On tomorrow's starting goaltender:
On the Saturday game:
Well I'm going to wait until Saturday to make that final determination. We're considering both obviously right now. We feel that we have a lot of belief in our goalies, they're going to be a strength of our team but at this point we haven't made a final decision other than that Craig will play tomorrow night and we'll decide after the game tomorrow night or the next day who plays the next one, but we're going to consider Robin for sure and we're going to consider Craig back-to-back because he's a number one goaltender who historically plays 70 games so Robin has to play at some point in time and we'll make that determination.
On seeing the roster play out:
We're excited about the season starting and getting a chance — we believe we've made some strides to the team we have, but we also have to make sure we stay in contact with who we are and not try to be something we're not. Tomorrow night is the first time we really get tested as a group so we're a little bit scared, a little bit more excited than we are scared, but the group we feel that we're a capable team but we have to come here and do our work every day and when we do that we think we'll like where we're going to be.
On if he pays attention to projections:
I don't know if I — do I pay attention to it? I've heard it or I do read it, but I don't really believe it necessarily. I believe that if we come here every day and we work hard every day to get a little bit better that we're going to like where we are at the end. I don't know where that is, I'm not prepared at this time to say that we're this kind of a team. I would like to, but we're not there yet. We're still a team that's searching for itself and the consistency of being a good team or an elite team, we're still searching for that.
On if realignment makes it tougher to make the playoffs:
Just from the mathematics it does. There's an extra team in each division in the east. I think it is.
On starting the year on a six game road trip:
I love it. We have no choice. We have to work with what the scheduler gives us and I think it's an opportunity for our team actually, for the leadership group to really have an opportunity to grasp it and we're looking forward to the season starting, getting going, I think for the leadership group it's a good thing.
On the size of training camp:
That was the training camp we planned and had, but I think we'll do it differently next year when we do it. I thought it was good we got to see all of our players in our organizations and the depth and the quality of the depth, and I think it's good for our players to see that there's other players there to push them. I think we — obviously the first test is going to be tomorrow night if we got out of training camp what we needed. We feel we did.
On Patrick Roy:
I'm having too much trouble coaching my own team to worry about someone else's.
On starting against two rivals:
I think it gets us right into it which is what we want to do. We don't want to be tip-toeing around or testing the water, we want to get in there and get playing and get involved in the game right away. Obviously these two, Buffalo and Toronto being division games right off the bat and playing Toronto is always a fun game. Not looking past Buffalo, the games we've had with Buffalo since I've been here have all been very competitive and good games as well. For us it's going to get us right into the old, what were we the Northeast Division? Now we're the Atlantic Division. Renewing those old rivalries I think is going to be good for our team.
On the preparation level vs. last season:
Well we should be much more prepared with the time we've had to work on things so the structure of our game, we should be able to see right away that it's there. I still think we probably have to work on it, but for the most part we should be up and running and we should be trying to get to our identity as soon as we can or sooner than we did last year.
Sens TV has Coach MacLean's full availability here:
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