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Coach MacLean on roster decisions

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

Here's what Paul MacLean had to say after the Sens' Monday practice ahead of the team's pre-season trip to Winnipeg on Tuesday...

On today's workout:

I thought the pace and the competition level of it was at a good place. We worked at some stuff and it got a little slow there in the middle but at the same time it's stuff we had to work at and I thought it ended up being a good day.

On who will stay with the team during Binghamton's trip to Europe:

The guys that were out there at 11:30 are all staying here and 20 of them are going to Winnipeg tomorrow for the exhibition game. There's something like eight or nine that are going to be left behind. They're going to practice and we'll go from there heading into the weekend.

On Condra and Methot:

Condra was, we thought, going to be a little bit longer than Milan, Gryba and Pageau and that's the case. I believe Erik anticipates skating tomorrow with the group. Marc Methot, we're still making sure he's pain free and in good shape before he goes again.

On when he'd like to see Methot return:

We want him to come back when he's ready. At this point to put a time frame on it doesn't make sense to me. We should make sure he's healthy before he starts skating. This is something that has been bothering him leading up to training camp let alone coming into training camp. We've got to make sure we get it all figured out, get him on the ice when he's ready and work from there. If it ends up not being ready then he's not ready, there's no sense putting him out there to jeopardize missing more games.

On what he expects from Michalek:

We expect Milan to just be Milan. He's a very dependable player, he's a player the coach can put in any situation, he has obviously scored and been productive in the League, his statistics speak for themselves. Our expectation is that he would do something similar to what his statistics would tell us... The years that he went through some injuries, the years that he has been healthy, sometimes you're going to have years where things don't work out when you're healthy. The best thing about last year is he played all 82 games and had another good summer of training this year. I think his good years far outweigh any bad years he has had. Our expectation is to be positive and he's going to give us solid minutes.

On Michalek being disappointed by last season:

Like a number of us we didn't have very good years last year so I don't think he was all by himself on that. We're not all by ourselves in expecting ourselves to be better this year either.

On younger players in camp to benefit their development:

We're trying to assess everybody's play and, as I said the other day, a number of players have been good, young players in the past and now they need to be good players. Matt Puempel, Curtis Lazar, Buddy Robinson would now be considered the new group of good young players who have that label of being young attached to their name. If they're pushing and they're good enough and they're outplaying guys who are already here, those are the types of tough decisions we have to make and decisions we potentially have to make going into the weekend. At this point they're here, they're giving a good account of themselves and it's up to us to decide if they can improve more, is this as good as they get or is there more for them to get to and what's the best way to get them there. Is it better to keep them here and play and they'll be better players by Christmas by staying in the NHL or do they go back to Binghamton, improve more there and be available to us later in the season or next season. In Curtis' case we need to decide if he's going to be a good enough player here or go back to junior and play. Those are the types of decisions we're considering. All those good young players have given a good account of themselves. All those other players who have now grown and are now just good players need to show us they're good players and they're better and that we need to keep them over somebody else. That's a competition that's going on and will go on tomorrow night and goes on here everyday now. You have to show us the consistency of your play and your ability to improve. Have you improved as much as you can? Is this as good as you are? Or, if you're going to need more improvement, how do we get it?

On playing Bobby Ryan on the left wing or right wing:

We haven't made that final determination either. It's too long, it's been six days, it's too long for me to not change lines. I had to do something with them. I was very curious to see him play with Mika on the left wing and that's why we did it.

On the goaltending plan for Tuesday night:

They're going to split, Robin will start and then Craig will come in in relief.

On giving them each a full game before the season:

We'll decide that, it's more than likely they'll play a full game.

On having the team set by Friday:

That's what I would like to have but it's also going to depend on players and, again, how the game goes tomorrow in Winnipeg, how we evaluate today and leading up to the game if we feel somebody else needs more of an opportunity to show us we'll make that decision then. Right now that would be what the coach would like to do. It might happen but it might not.

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