|Senators forward Nick Foligno and his teammates are enthused about finally playing some games for real (Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images). |
The up-tempo pace, the workouts and all the skating ... this camp was definitely hard, but in a good way. We feel like we accomplished something and we’re looking forward to showing that in our first regular-season game, and the whole season, for that matter.
I’m especially excited about getting started in Detroit. It’ll actually be my first time playing at Joe Louis Arena in four years with the Senators. I was injured two of the previous times we went there, so I’m really looking forward to this. It’s got some family history because my dad was drafted by the Red Wings and played for them at the start of his NHL career. So it’ll be fun for me.
We also know this game will be a pretty big deal for our coach, Paul MacLean, who used to be an assistant coach with the Wings for a lot of years. It’s also his first game as an NHL head coach, so hopefully, we can get him those two points. We’ll really be trying to do that for him.
As a group, we’re excited about what we have this season. We know we have to get off to a good start. That’s going to be really important for us. We’re excited about the guys we have in our room. We’re going to be a young team and we understand that. We don’t think our backs are against the wall or anything like that. We just need to play well as a team and the wins will come.
With all the new faces on our team, it’s going to take some time for us to really get to know each other. But we’ve got such great guys in our locker room and that’ll bring us together more quickly. We’ve had some chances to hang out together outside the rink and that’s why we went away a little early this week, to help build that bond.
For a player, there really is nothing like the first game of the season. You’ve got butterflies and everything but once that puck drops, they all go away. It’s a new season, a new everything, and you’re looking forward to that clean slate and just starting fresh. I think all of us are looking forward to that and I know personally, I’m really looking forward to having a good start to this season and building on it.