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From the coach: Feb 7th, 2020

by Craig Medaglia @craigmedaglia / Ottawa Senators

Following today's practice at Canadian Tire Centre, Sens head coach D.J. Smith met with the media to provide some player updates before tomorrow's matinee in Winnipeg...

An update on Vladislav Namestnikov who returned to practice after missing last night's game:

He was a little bit sore skating around out there and then he took that puck so that's unfortunate for him. We'll reassess here later today and hopefully he can play tomorrow but we'll see how bad the cut is.


Namestnikov's current status after taking a puck to the face at practice:

I didn't get the update because I was doing some of our meetings for tomorrow. Certainly there was a lot of blood there, he's a tough kid but we're not going to put him in a tough spot.

Tweet from @Senators: Practice at @CdnTireCtr today before heading off to Winnipeg.


On Mark Borowiecki's status for the team's 2-game road trip that starts tomorrow in Winnipeg:

No, he's not going to come on the trip. His wife is really close and it's good for him to be around his wife. It's a great time for him and his family and he'd love to keep playing but his family needs him.


On how the decision was made to keep Borowiecki off the road leading up to the birth of his first child:

He's a team-first guy. If you told him he had to play, he'd probably play but Pierre (Dorion) went to him and the right move is to let him be with his family. Give credit to Pierre, he's the one who went right to him and said "you're not coming on the road trip".


The fallout from last night's 4-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche:

We had a good video session today but we're always trying to get better. You can't lose sight of what the process was coming into this year, it's to change the culture and to be better at the end of the year. 4 or 5 years ago Colorado was the worst team in the league and you can see where they are today.


On what he's looking for as a coach during the team's recent play:

It's not about the standings but about how we play. I didn't like us last night, they were faster than us, they were on pucks and they were just the better team last night. But I've liked us in a lot of games, we've had a tough schedule where we're in the middle of playing a lot of teams that are in the playoffs and these are playoff games for these teams which are great games for us.


On Brady Tkachuk's impact on last night's game:

He scored a goal, had 7 shots and 10 hits…he's involved in the game. He's becoming more of a leader for us every day, he drags us in emotionally, he plays every shift, he tracked MacKinnon there in the third with 6 minutes to go and was right on his heels. He plays until the buzzer and it's great to see…people will soon follow that.

 Video: COL@OTT: Tkachuk buries wrist shot on the break

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