The Sens had a spirited practice at Canadian Tire Centre on Monday before hopping on a flight to Florida for a date with the Panthers on Tuesday night. After the on-ice proceedings were taken care of, Paul MacLean met with the media to pass along his thoughts.
Here's what he had to say...
On Methot having the flu:
It appears he does yes, but he's making the trip so we're going to be careful and guarded with him at this point. He's supposed to make the trip today.
On Mike Hoffman:
He's the second leading scorer in the American Hockey League at this point and he plays with speed and skill, he can be tenacious on the puck and he has earned the opportunity to come up and see if he can help us out.
On putting MacArthur with Spezza:
I'm not sure we've broken it up yet, we've separated them in practice before and they've gone back in the game. I was interested to see what it would look like in practice and I haven't decided yet, I'm still digesting how the practice went. You tell me, how was it?
On MacArthur-Spezza-Zibanejad as a trio:
I thought they were every bit as good as everybody else out there, they had it moving. I thought they looked fine.
On the putting Spezza with the two hottest scorers on the team:
I think we haven't found our best team yet so we're still — by our record we haven't found our best team yet — so we're still working at that. We tried to keep things together to give that an opportunity to grow and be the process and now we've made some changes today. Part of the change is that some people aren't here, part of the changes are we've changed the lines up and tomorrow, we'll digest it today and we'll see if we like what we saw today and see if we move forward to it.
On paying attention to the standings:
Well for me it's game by game, it's pretty easy to know where you are. So, I mean, everyone is aware of where they are all time. We know that we haven't played well and we haven't found our best team yet to find our best game on a consistent basis and that's what we have to do. Until we do that, to me, looking at the standings, you already know where you are. You know you're not close enough, but we still have lots of games to go and I still believe we're going to like where we are at the end.
On tomorrow's goaltender:
Tomorrow yet? No. I'm getting through the other changes first.
On if Turris will be available after limping off at practice:
I believe so, yes, he got a little knick, but my understanding is he'll be fine. A couple of pearls and he'll be fine.
On looking for chemistry at this stage:
We're trying to find our best team and you a lot of different ways. We've juggled things, changed things a lot at the start and now here in the middle we've tried to be consistent to give people a chance to grow and get that chemistry going. I think that we're still searching, we can't just stick our head in the sand and say, "This is the way it's going to be," and just keep going and going and going, I think we have to search for answers and search for solutions and, most importantly, we have to come here every day and work at the solutions and that'll give us a chance to find our best team. I think just letting it go isn't the right way — we've made some changes bringing Hoffman here, maybe we need to make more changes, who knows? At this point in time the thing that can't change is that we come here every day and work hard to get better. Even if it's just a little bit it's going to be a lot at the end.
On carrying eight defencemen:
It wasn't hard to deal with it really, but players need to play. Realistically, having two of them sit all the time wasn't getting any of them better, so where can we have the people play where they'll get the most minutes and get the most opportunity to play is what it came down to.
On Greening as a centre after the Grant re-assignment:
It was for today but, like I said, we'll digest it all and see where it goes from there. In order to get Hoffman here we had to make — I guess in baseball they call it the double switch.
On if this team needs something magic to click:
I don't believe in magic or wizardry, I believe in hard work and we need more of that. I'm not sure that we play hard enough, long enough on a consistent basis as we've said more times than enough. We need to flat out work at it harder and work at it longer. There's no magic and there's no potion for that, we just have to come here every day and get ready to work.
On if it's as simple as hard work:
I know it's harder than it sounds because the other team doesn't always behave the way you want them to. That's what makes it a tough league, that's what makes it a great league, is that you can be very close but still be really, really far away. That's where we are now. We're close, but we're still a long way from where we need to be.
On the Panthers:
I haven't yet seen them on the pre-scout yet, but I know with Peter Horachek, their new coach, from what I can see and what I've read is the structure of their team is much improved on it was from when they obviously first took over when we were here, so we expect them to be very organized and a difficult opponent.
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