The Senators took to the ice at Bell Sensplex on Monday ahead of their flight to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers. Prior to their departure, Paul MacLean met with the media to pass along updates on the team and give his thoughts.
Here's what he had to say...
On if tomorrow's goalie has been chosen:
Not yet, no. We're still discussing it.
On Chris Phillips:
He had a touch of the flu so we just said we don't all need that... I believe he's going to travel but we said stay away as long as you can. Hopefully he's wearing gloves and masks and all that stuff so he doesn't pass it on…I would expect him to play.
On if there will be lineup changes:
We're going to consider everything. Like we've always said they just can't sit there and not play, too. We haven't made a final determination on the lineup for tomorrow night yet but we're going to give everybody consideration to be in there. We haven't decided right now if we're going to, but we're going to consider it all.
On trying to figure out the shortcomings from one night to the next:
I try to wait until I get back here to tell you the truth. I can do lots of it here. I can sit there and we can talk it around, talk it around, but like everybody we take this home with us. It's not being — self-evaluation is really a good skill to have, but it also can be a bit of a burden. Our team right now the only thing consistent about us is that we're inconsistent and we need to find a way to solve that.
On turning things around:
Well you can win, that helps. Win a period, win a game, come down to that part of it. Right now our inconsistency is what we are and that makes us a .500 team, or are we below .500, we're a mediocre team, but we're a .500 team. That's what we are. Over the next 10 games if that's what we are then that's what we are and we have to find a solution to that. To find a solution to that would be — we have 62 games left — to decide what we are. Let's take the next 10 games and see if we can get — we believe we're a team that can skate 200 feet, can play physical, play with speed and can attack the opposition's net and be able to defend our net. We haven't been able to do that because we play in our end all the time. That's still, to me, the biggest issue we have is our lack of execution and we play too much in our end.
On leaning on the leadership group:
Well we're going to lean on them heavy, if we haven't already. We're going to make some demands of them to make sure that the team — it's their team. It's our team, it's their team, but they need to, as individuals, do a better job of getting themselves and getting the team prepared to play. That's what the representatives, captains and alternates are for, that's part of their job. But also, leadership is part of everyone's job and we all need to be better at it.
On if the first game against Philadelphia taught any new lessons:
I don't think so, I don't think they played differently than what they did before under Peter (Laviolette) with Craig (Berube) as the coach now. It's not that they changed everything systematic wise.
On if there are enough weapons to score:
I think so. We have offence from our blueline, we have offence from, really, three of our forward lines. Our isse has been playing too much in our zone and the penalties that we take is giving up goals, giving up shots by playing in our end of the rink. When we're playing in the other team's end it usually goes pretty good for us. Now, we haven't scored — two of our last home games we scored one goal so obviously we haven't scored enough, but in the big picture over 20 games we've scored enough to win.
On the team's top six:
I think it'll always be in flux. Right now we have Mika and Cory Conacher are basically working for that other top six spot so I think we have five. MacArthur, Turris, Ryan, Spezza and Michalek, that's five. So our top six, we're looking for our sixth guy. And those two have been the two that we've been playing.
On Derek Grant:
He's been, taking last night away, his penalty killing was a pretty good strength of his until last night and his work ethic is there, he has been good in the faceoff circle, he's been a good pro.
On if a callup is possible:
Well we certainly have to consider it. Right now we're not in an injury situation but I'm sure we're going to talk. If someone down there deserves the opportunity to come up, we're not against that.
On if the team is sticking with eight defencemen:
Right now we are, yes.
On the mental toughness of the team:
I think winning does that for you, it gives you that confidence. Once you've done it — we were down two to Boston and we won that game — that's the only time we've done it this year. Usually the shift right after a goal is scored for or against and our shifts after goals are scored haven't been very good. Sometimes the way we give them up, we play in the defensive zone too much or we turn the puck over. That eats away at your confidence and your mental strength. Moving forward we have to keep showing them when we have success doing it and continue to try to put ourselves in a spot to be successful and having a lead is way better, easier than trying to play catch up all the time.
On diminished shots-for totals:
I yell at them all the time to shoot it and not to pass it, so I think yeah, we don't shoot the puck enough. Do I think that? Yes I think we don't shoot the puck enough. I also understand they're the ones out there playing and when they see things they're trying to do things, maybe they're trying to do things too hard. Maybe they don't want to be the guy who shoots it for however they're thinking. We encourage them to shoot the puck, every time they come over the blueline we encourage them to shoot it and we're going to continue to.
On turning around slow starts:
Not play in our zone. It would solve a lot of the issues we have. If we just played in our zone the average amount we'd be fine.
On if teams try to jump on the Sens early:
That's what I would do so I'm pretty sure that's what they're doing.
On if he expects discipline for Borowiecki:
I haven't heard anything today so I didn't anticipate anything.
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