The Sens are off to Columbus today to wrap up another four game road swing. Head coach Paul MacLean passed along his updates and thoughts after this morning's practice at Canadian Tire Centre.
Here's what he had to say...
On Mark Stone:
He skated today and shot some pucks so he has shown some improvement but he is not ready to practice, at least until we come back from Columbus for sure.
On if Stone will play before the break:
I'd be hopeful of that but I don't know for sure until I talk to Gerry again. He was good today so we'll see when we come back. He's showing improvement.
On the importance of this week:
Well it was no bigger than the week behind us so I think every game is a huge game until you play it and then the next game is a huge game. Right now with the pack of teams we're in with, every night the result changes everything and I think it's an exciting time. For us we need to make sure we continue to win games to stay in it. Every next game is the biggest game of the season.
On if he watches the standings:
No, I just know they're going and one team or another can go so you've just got to keep playing your games and see where you are at 82.
On how he prevents players from being discouraged:
I think in the last month or so we've gained a bit of ground, we weren't even in it and now we are. I think we've gained a lot of ground, the issue with that is now you've got to keep doing it and we've still got lots of games to keep doing it but every time you play one it's an opportunity gained or an opportunity lost. Our focus is game by game and day by day.
On trying to keep the daily emotions in check:
I think if you had a team of peewees it might be (difficult) but if you have a professional hockey team, we're kind of used to things going that way and we need to stay on an even keel to keep our game at as high a level as we can and not be up and down. That's what separates us from amateur hockey or the American League — the National League is professionals and we don't have those big swings and that emotional ups and downs with the games that you might see with lesser levels.
On players trying to keep their emotions even keel:
I think it should be exciting, I think it's exciting, you should be excited about being in the race, it shouldn't be difficult at all. You should be looking forward to coming to the rink every day and seeing what you can do to get better.
In the last seven to 10 games that I've seen or watched highlights of, Horton. They got him back healthy and he has been filling the net, he has been scoring it seems every night. I think the culture change they made last year with the trading of Rick Nash and other pieces that they had has started to come alive, I think Dubinsky, Anisimov, guys that they got from the Rangers have been good players for them. Jack Johnson and Wisniewski have been healthy all year long and they have played the Murray kid out of junior who has come in and come a long way for them. The goaltender Bobrovsky won the Vezina Trophy so they've put some pieces together and they're a team that plays with speed, they play physical and they play a good, hard-working game. It's a credit to them.
On if there's urgency to get regulation wins:
Well as I said the other day, wins are the most important thing but if you can lose the right way in this league, that helps you too. If you get to the shootout and you lose I guess that's as bad as you can get it for the other team because it doesn't count as their "ROW" but we much prefer to win it in 60 minutes and just have the thing be a win.
On tomorrow's goalie:
On the problems in the last five games:
I thought that our play in the neutral zone the last two games was a little — I'm going to use the word sloppy because we're coaching our team but the other team did a pretty good job in the neutral zone against us and we didn't execute as we had been before. To me that was the biggest difference, especially in the last two games.
|More from Inside the Senate:|