Sens GM Pierre Dorion spoke with the media today via conference call about clinching a playoff spot last night in Boston, looking back at a year's worth of work and more...
On clinching a playoff spot last night:
It was a very good feeling but the game wasn't over yet so it was not really time to celebrate. Alfie and I had a handshake and we shook hands with Rob Cookson and Pierre Groulx but we knew there was still the possibility of a shootout. A lot of credit has to be given to our players to fight through all the adversity we fought through all year and a lot of credit has to go to our coaching staff led by Guy Boucher. I think they've done an exceptional job this year with what they had. It was a great win for the whole organization.
On what went through his mind after clinching:
I was sitting in the coach's room after and I think I got 107 texts. I'm trying to be polite and answer everyone but at the same time when I sat down on the bus you start thinking about Game #1 against the Leafs and then you think about last little stretch where we had our longest losing streak. You think about some of the key wins we had this year whether it was our last game in Toronto when we came back or the game against Washington in the middle of January or winning in Chicago for the first time in a while. So you think about specific wins through the year but at the same time it's what we've done together as a group. I think that's where the players really deserve most of the credit.
On setting goals after earning a playoff spot:
Internally we may have updated some of our goals but for the most part with this team and where we're at, we felt the first step to take was to get ourselves into the playoffs. I think with some of our recent stretches maybe we had a bit higher goals but I think we have to stay the course and focus on "let's get into the playoffs and hopefully we can make a bit of noise when the playoffs start". That's really our goal right now.
Most likely Erik will not play until the end of the regular season. If tomorrow was Game #1 of the playoffs…he would be playing. Bobby and Marc won't play until the end of the regular season but we're very hopeful that they'll be back for the playoffs. If the playoffs were tomorrow Zack Smith would play. If you're asking about Stalberg, everything looks good. I think he's good to go tomorrow.
On getting players back for the playoffs and given the coaching staff options:
That's what we've tried to do all year. We knew we wouldn't go through this year without any injuries so our management group were able to get Guy what we feel is really good NHL-quality depth and there is a very good chance when Game #1 starts that everyone could be available. That would be the first time in a very long time for the Ottawa Senators that everyone would be available. I think that just gives Guy as many options as possible and he can play around with his lines and do what he needs to do to field what he thinks would be the best team to help us win in the playoffs.
Looking back at his first year as an NHL GM:
My dream job is my dream job. It's fantastic what I get to do for a living. People think that all we do is trades and player transactions but that's just a little part of the job. This job is very demanding, it's fun at times, it's very difficult at other times but I think that it was everything that I was ready for. And if I can add to that, dealing on a daily basis with Guy Boucher has been nothing but a godsend and a pleasure.