There was plenty of reason for optimism and confidence at Sens practice on Wednesday, roughly 12 hours after the team handed the Detroit Red Wings a 6-1 loss at Joe Louis Arena. Sens head coach Paul MacLean offered up his thoughts in his usual post-practice availability on the Detroit win, today's practice and tomorrow's game against Anaheim.
Here's what Coach had to say...
On Chris Phillips' absence at practice:
He's the only old guy on the left team so we have to make sure he gets all the days off that he needs, but it's maintenance for Chris, yes.
On Friday's starting goaltender:
On Friday as a chance for redemption for Anderson vs. Anaheim:
Not really, I think it's more the way I thought he played well last night, he's the number one goalie. The schedule right now is we have a day between games so we have an opportunity to get him in the net and get him playing and he's playing well. That's really the only consideration we gave to it.
On the first Anaheim game as a wakeup call:
As it turns out I think the San Jose game was an eye-opener for us and I think the way Anaheim played was an eye-opener for us as well. We felt that we were a team that could play fast and play 200 feet and they were way better at it than we were. I think that was an eye-opener for us is if we were going to get to a status that we're considered one of those teams we better get up here and get running and get doing things the way you have to do them. I think from an eye-opener there are other teams out there that are quicker and faster than we are so we have to make sure we're working at it if that's what we're going to be.
On last night as the team's ideal style of play:
I thought that was a good game for us last night as far as that's how we want to play and we'd like to go faster, we'd like to play harder and we'd like to be more physical, but that was a good recipe for us last night. I thought the game was 50/50 for a lot of the first period, whether or not we had the goals they didn't maybe get the goals, they had some scoring opportunities, but I thought the longer the game went the better we got and the more in control of the game we became. I thought we wound up being a touch faster and quicker and stronger on pucks than they were. We did it longer and harder than they did and that's usually what happens when you win.
On the fourth line:
Well I think it was a big part of being able to play fast and play 200 feet is to be able to play 12 forwards and so they can really do the work that's needed to help your defence and make it an easier game for them. If you don't have that it makes it hard to do it. I thought that obviously their first couple of shifts were good, one ends up in the first goal and I thought all three of them skated and played the game hard.
On if there was carry over from the win in practice today:
I think so, I think we're — I don't know if it's just me but our execution seems to be better since we were there. When you have success and things go good I think that's kind of a common thing is your total game will get better as you gain a little bit more confidence.
On the decrease in penalties called against:
Knock on wood, I hope so because we took all kinds of them before that. I did think we skated really well last night, I thought especially defensively we moved our feet, we didn't use our sticks and try to reach in and that ends up being the difference in taking penalties. I thought we had the puck. Maybe we weren't better in the faceoff circle, but we seemed to have the puck a lot more.
On the difficulty of maintaining a high tempo:
The opposition doesn't always behave the way you want them to so you have to execute and do things right all the time, to be willing to accept 50/50 shifts where you're not always dominating the rink. Don't try to force things to happen or try to make something out of nothing all the time. Sometimes being able to maintain the speed and pace of the game is just accepting that it's going to be 50/50 and just make sure that pucks get in, you get them deep, you establish forecheck and you establish the ability to backcheck and get out of your zone. What gets in the way is lots of times just trying to force something and not just willing to accept that it's going to be 50/50.
On the Eastern Conference/Western Conference difference in style:
I think the Eastern Conference is a little more actual physical, physical part of the game. The West plays with more speed and skill. I'd like us to be a combination of both.
On tomorrow's lineup:
We'll see, we've changed things before. Right now, as we stand today, obviously the way we played was good and we'll make adjustments tomorrow if we need to. We'll see what the day brings.
On Spezza's groin injury:
He's skating really well and I think the more he skates the better he's going to get. There has been no evidence of it at all.
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