Here's what Paul MacLean had to say after today's lengthy practice in Calgary ahead of the team's trip to Winnipeg for tomorrow's game with the Jets...
On the length of the practice:
A message? No. Just a practice after a day off. We need to get ready for an afternoon game which we haven't had a lot of success with. We felt we had to get over some stuff today and get ourselves ready to go.
On what they worked on:
I think our power play, driving the net, getting to the net were focuses of the day and play in the defensive zone. We have to be harder to play against in all three zones, especially in the defensive zone.
On the battle drills:
I think after the game the other night we stated pretty clearly we didn't play hard enough and when you're not involved physically it's hard to play hard. Our team needs to play harder and in order to play harder we need to start practicing harder and not be taking days because we've got a game tomorrow. We're going to have to practice harder if we expect them to play harder.
He did something to his hand last night so he went back to Ottawa to get the hand guy to look at it and he won't play tomorrow. Right now I would say he's doubtful for Monday but I'm not going to rule him out until we get back to Ottawa on Sunday and see him on Monday. For now he's out for tomorrow anyway... He has to see the specialist, if it is it might be longer. We just want to make sure we had our people look at it... It's a big loss but it's also, as we've said lots of times in the past, it's a good opportunity too. Somebody gets to step up and play in that spot and show he can play.
On the Spezza line with Hemsky:
We're going to play them again tomorrow. Any time you're looking for chemistry it takes more than three periods and a practice. We're just going to keep them going and see if something can develop.
Yeah we feel he has played. His skating and his ability with the puck has been good. He has created some opportunities and had some opportunities, he has had shots on goal that haven't gone in. We haven't been displeased with any of the games he has been in, we just have to keep getting him out there.
On the practice tussle between Cowen and Neil:
We need more of it, preferably when the games are on, but we need more — I don't know, just be harder. That's playing harder. If you're playing harder in practice that stuff is going to practice. Boys are going to be boys, men are going to be men and we need more of it.
On still looking for it to click:
It bothers me to no end. It bothers me every day and every night. Every day we come to work it's why don't we play harder? Why aren't we a better group? That's stuff we discuss every day. We're still searching for our solution. All I know is we have 19 more games to play and we've got to keep working at it. We can't just let it slide, we have to continue to work at it. This isn't just a one year type of thing we're in, this is a process of becoming an elite team and you face adversity in a lot of different ways. Last year it was injuries, this year is it indifferent play? Inconsistency? We've used lots of different words but it's basically we don't play hard enough. Are we too skilled and not hard enough? Those are things we discuss every day. We just need to make sure we push the fact that we want to be a work ethic based team and not just a skill based team.
On if they can turn it around immediately:
If there's a button there we better hit it. We have to continue to work at finding our best team and finding our best game. Consistently we haven't found that to this point this year but that doesn't mean we can't. Right now we need to.
On examining his performance:
I've examined myself every day. Have we done enough? Do we do enough? Are we doing the right things? There's lots of days where I come up with I didn't do enough. That's disappointing. At the end of the day our team is inconsistent and we have to be better. That starts with me.
On the lineup:
Anderson in goal, Matt (Kassian) will come in, Cowen will come back in and Wiercioch will come out.
On if they considered a call-up:
We considered a lot of things but we have a pretty good record with Matt in the lineup. You can't ignore that either.
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