The Sens practiced in Minnesota today ahead of their Tuesday night clash with the Wild. Head coach Paul MacLean offered up his thoughts after the skate.
Here's what he had to say...
On today's front office news:
First of all I'd like to take the time to congratulate Eugene Melnyk and Bryan Murray for extending Bryan Murray for four years and the promotion of Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee to the assistant GM positions in the wake of Tim Murray going to Buffalo. I think it's a great step in the right direction for our organization to promote from within and recognize the work these three gentlemen have done to get us to this point. It's an exciting day for me as the coach to know moving forward we have these people to work with.
On tomorrow's lineup:
For us we're going to play Robin Lehner in net. Right now Chris Neil is a decision we're going to wait on until tomorrow. His practices have been very good, we want to see how he gets through today but we're not going to make a final determination on that until we really have to tomorrow but other than that I believe at this point everything else will stay the same.
I think Kyle has been a very consistent player after the growth he had last year, taking the responsibility with the injury to Jason. The way he and Zack stepped up last year and grew as players, although their offensive numbers were way down as they learned to deal with being the go-to guys on the team, I think the growth they had last year is really starting to show this year in their game and how consistent they are from game to game, shift to shift, period to period. I think the both of them have stayed at the same level as they were at the end of last season and have given us very consistent play through the middle.
The schedule is light, we go home Thursday and play a very good team and play another good team on Saturday at home. We know that Craig is playing well and he can play lots of games and play them one after the other, but at the same time Robin also gives us a very good chance to win games and has played very well for us. We just don't feel we can leave him sitting there longer and longer and longer and not get to play, otherwise we'll never play him. I think that would be the wrong thing to do too because he has been very consistent for us as well.
We know for sure how injuries can give opportunity to other, lesser players and they can move up or you can call people up and give them an opportunity to play and they can show they can play in the league and take advantage of it. That's a big thing for them with the injuries they have that are to significant players, other people are getting an opportunity to play and they're showing they're a hard working group, they play with good structure, they get timely scoring right now and they're playing well defensively.
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