Sens head coach Paul MacLean offered his thoughts after the team's practice on Wednesday ahead of a Thursday night tilt with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Here's what he had to say...
On the push to be in a playoff spot with a win tomorrow:
As much comfort as that would give me I'd like to see it at game 82, that's when it actually means something. To answer your question better, it means that we've found a way to get ourselves in it and we have to keep winning to get in it. All that would do is emphasize that we have to keep winning games. What we have done is found a way to get ourselves back to be mentioned in the race and we have to keep winning to do that.
On the Lightning's three game win streak vs. Ottawa:
I think Ben (Bishop) has played well. I think also their team speed has been very good and we have to do a better job of getting started against them. I thought the game in Tampa they started much better than we did but as the game went on we found a way to get the game going our way too and had it going our way. We need to start that way and see if we can get the game going our way and establish our game early in the game and see if they can play from behind and see if they can play in their end.
On Ben Bishop's award contention this season:
I think if he has the stats for it, sure. I haven't looked around for who anybody else is but if he is in there and deserves credit for it, that's good for him. We all knew that he had great work ethic and great potential and he is showing it with taking advantage of an opportunity and that's good for him.
On the disparity between the home and road power plays:
Coaching? I don't know what the difference is but it is one and 30 so it's significant so I understand the question, but I don't know if I have an answer other than that. I don't have an answer. We're simpler on the road? We do it simpler? I really don't know, but the results are what they are and I do know that we work at it every day and at some point in time I think we're going to continue to have — our power play is climbing to 10th in the league based mostly obviously on what it does on the road but tomorrow is another opportunity for us to come here and be successful. Right now the success we've had, a lot of it has been the power play, penalty killing and goaltending.
On Smith and Phillips:
Zack was a maintenance day and he's playing tomorrow. Chris Phillips had another maintenance day but he's probably doubtful for tomorrow's game with the bo bo he has. Stoner skated today, obviously he's in the yellow jersey so he's not ready to play by any means, but the fact he's on the ice for practice is a sign he's making practice.
On tomorrow's starter:
Craig Anderson will be the goalie.
On if there are any Olympic concerns for Karlsson and Michalek:
Well I think there's 30 teams in the league that are dealing with the same thing with players that are coming back from there. It all depends on how long they play. If they play right until the last game, obviously it's going to be an exciting time for them. Any time you can go to the Olympic games you've got to go and you've got to go and enjoy it. When they get back here we'll give them the time they need to get themselves sorted out and get them ready to go but we think it's a great opportunity for them both to go and we hope they both have great success.
On if only have two Olympians is an advantage:
I'm not sure about that, it all depends on what they do.
On when they get back from the break:
2 o'clock on the 19th, no contact from the 9th to the 19th in any way shape or form. You can't do anything, they can't even come to the rink if they don't want to. The trainers can't even work with them. It's different, the new CBA.
On if Bobby Ryan can do anything differently:
I guess he could move a little bit but he's still in position. I'd like to see him miss the goalie more than he's hitting him, he has had a lot of shots blocked so he's in position. Is he not shooting it quick enough could be the issue but he is getting himself in spots to get shots and it's the cycle thing again. We feel that if he keeps getting the looks and keeps shooting it, what scares me the most is that he stops taking the shot and now he starts looking to pass it all the time and you've got to get him into the shooter's mentality. He stil right now has the mentality that he wants to shoot the puck when he gets an opportunity and if he continues to do that it's going to go in.
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