Sens head coach D.J. Smith met with the media yesterday and provided some updates and insight before the Sens kick off the pre-season tomorrow in St. John's against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The pace of the practices at training camp so far:
I was really happy today with the work ethic again, it was outstanding in all the groups. It's starting to get more competitive, the guys want to be here and you can see them starting to excel a little bit. You're starting to see why they're in the NHL.
His impression of Brady Tkachuk so far:
He's big time skill. He can hold onto the puck, he's mean and he's just going to get better and better as the season goes on. He's so competitive and he's so big and strong. We just have to work on the little things in his game but his competitiveness and his meanness on a nightly basis…coaches love having guys like that.
Vitaly Abramov continues to impress:
He scores every time I see him play. He was arguably the best or one of the best in the rookie tournament and then he's just continued to score. This guy scores every game and he works and he works and he works. He's a guy that has certainly put himself on the radar and we'll see how he does in the exhibition games.
Injury update on Filip Chlapik:
It looks like he's probably not going to play in the first exhibition game. We'll see what happens from there but we'd like to get him back on the ice as soon as possible.
Injury update on Mikkel Boedker:
I think he's going to start skating here in the next day or two. We thought it'd be like 5 days and we're getting close to that timeline now so we'll get him on and getting him skating. He's a little bit behind now with the amount of skating and work that the guys have put in so we'll have to get him out there and work him.
On him and a few of the new players facing the Leafs for the first time tomorrow:
It will probably be good for them to just get it out of the way. For me, it's an exhibition game and I played five years in St. John's, Newfoundland and this will be the first time that I've gone back there so I'm excited to see some of the regulars, the nicest people on earth. I'm kind of thinking about that more at the moment but when we get out there, it's just hockey and it's an exhibition game. There'll be more nerves for Game #1.
On how Craig Anderson and Anders Nilsson might be deployed during the pre-season:
Pierre Groulx is going to make those decisions. We'd like to get them both an even amount of work so that we can get a good look and see who's going when the season starts. We plan on using both guys as a tandem which I think is the way it's going in the NHL right now.