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Coach MacLean on pre-season game 3

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

The Sens are preparing for their matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight and, as per the custom, Paul MacLean met with the media after this morning's game night prep work. MacLean offered thoughts on tonight's game and some of the individual players who will be hitting the ice.

Here's what he had to say...

On tonight's game:

We expect any time we play the Leafs that it's going to be a physical game and it's going to be a well played game. You're going to have to play hard to get to their net and you have to make sure you make it hard for them to get to yours. That's what we anticipate from the Leafs. From our team it's an opportunity for us, again, to see the Michalek, Spezza and Bobby Ryan combination play and see how they handle the puck. It's the first time we get to see Greening, Zibanejad and Neil which is — they've been chomping at the bit to get into a game. A good opportunity for Pageau, Prince and Petersson to show. Patrick Wiercioch is going to play on the right side on the blueline and we're going to give him an opportunity to also play on the power play with Erik Karlsson. We're excited about that opportunity and what it could bring to our team.

On tonight's goaltenders:

Lawson will play the last 20. (Anderson will play the first two periods)

On if the expectation level is rising:

We're expecting to see more of how we do things and the execution should be getting better. The speed and tempo should continue to increase and, you know, we're looking for our identity and how we play the game and make sure that we're establishing that.

On Erik Karlsson:

I think he was skating fine, he's been doing things fine — a little bit casual with the puck sometimes but that's Erik and it's early in training camp and we expect that he'll be better with the puck tonight and as we move forward he'll certainly get better and better.

On if he looks like his old self:

He certainly appears like it to me. He's skating by people like he did in the past and we anticipate that'll continue. Right now there's been nothing to say that he won't be able to keep going.

On Bobby Ryan:

The puck goes in the net for him, he seems to shoot at a way bigger net than all the other guys are shooting at. And he brings that pedigree with him. He's scored 30 goals in this league more than one time so that's a pedigree that he brings, he has that ability and I think he's certainly showed that every day at training camp, he's found a way to put the puck in the net and it's pretty impressive.

On the chemistry of the top line:

I think it's coming along pretty nicely, they're finding one another. They might spend too much time finding each other and over pass the puck sometimes, but they seem to be developing some chemistry and we want to continue to allow that to boil and make sure we can get it going.

On the Pageau-Petersson-Prince line:

Well we want to see if they can play in the league, play at that level. Obviously Pageau has played in the league this year in the playoffs. Can he be consistent? That line, the three of them have actually been pretty consistent since the rookie camp started and tonight's their first opportunity to play in the game, to show us that consistency and that's what we want to see.

On Pageau:

He has to continue to be a good player and consistency is the hardest thing to find at this level. He came in in the playoffs and it's a pretty high energy time of year, it's probably easier to come in and play well then than it is at this time of the year when you're starting out in training camp. Consistency is what we strive for and so far he hasn't done anything to hurt himself at this point. As far as the rookie camp he was probably the best player, arguably, in the whole camp on any one of the teams and he's been the most consistent player since the rookie camp started. He's certainly doing what he has to do.

On the power play:

I think it has the potential to be a dangerous power play. If we channel it the right way, if we just pass the puck around it's not going to be very dangerous, but if we attack the net and shoot the puck with some urgency to get it back it could be a very dangerous power play with the pieces we put out there.

On the PP point men:

Well we feel that Patrick Wiercioch is ready to take on that role and part of the responsibility of that role and having Erik for the full year certainly helps as well, and Joe Corvo has played on the point on the power play as well before. Right now Patrick and Erik are going to anchor the first unit of the power play and we're going to give them really every opportunity to show that they can do it and we anticipate that they're going to be very good.

On Hoffman as a PP point man:

That'll be a circumstance thing during the game, we could practice him there but I'm not sure it would be something we'd consistently do. If we're down in a game and need something to happen or if it's not going good we would do that based on circumstances.

Here's Coach MacLean's availability courtesy of Sens TV:

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