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Colin Greening on linemates, penalty killing and 2013-14

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

It has been a bit of an up-and-down season for Sens forward for Colin Greening. While his offensive numbers have taken a hit from previous standards established — largely due to a shooting percentage that has yet to get back up to his career standards — he has taken a step forward in a defensive role on a line with Zack Smith and Chris Neil, which lines up against the League's top scoring lines most nights. Not only that, but he has seen his role in the team's penalty kill expand beyond what it had been prior to this season.

He offered his thoughts on playing in different roles, penalty killing and the season at-large below.

On the differences in approaching depending on line:

It doesn't really affect the way I play, it affects the way I approach it. I think in any situation if you talk to any of the players everyone is in the same situation so I just try and complement the guys. If I'm playing with Smitty and Neiler and we have to be more defensive that's what my mindet will be going into the game. It doesn't really change how I skate or handle the puck or anything like that so I just kind of look at it that way.

On reading off the centreman:

That's the advantage I have and a lot of guys have is this isn't new for us, we have been switching lines quite a bit, ever since I've been with the organization it has been like this. We have that advatange where I'm used to playing with Smitty and I know what type of player he is and I know what type of player Jason is. That, to me, allows me to not have that one game testing out period. If we get switched off in the middle of the game I can still read off them because I know what type of player Jason is or Smitty is or Zibanejad or whomever.

On his special teams play:

I'm still learning. At the beginning of the year I felt I had some struggles and I didn't play as much in the early part of the season. Now I've worked my way back into a role where I can be a regular on the PK. I have to give a lot of credit to Milan Michalek too, we've been paired off quite a bit and we have very similar mindsets when it comes to penalty killing and that has really helped. It's a continual learning process with special teams, that's the way it's always going to be, you've just got to keep learning and hopefully I'll just continue to work and potentially get back on the 5-on-3.

On his season to this point:

Early on I definitely feel like I wasn't playing up to what I expected from myself but as the season went on I think I've, depending on what role I've been playing, I've been playing a lot better and more consistent than I was in the first 20 games where I'd have a good game and then a weak one. It was a bit disconcerting at the beginning but now I feel like I've continued to improve and I'm still hoping to improve where the best hockey is yet to come.

On his skating as a catalyst:

It has always been the sparkplug for me. Whenever my skating is on I feel like I don't have to worry about it and everything else just falls into place — I'm more physical, I'm moving the puck better. To me that's the catalyst is to make sure I'm skating well.

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