5:15 PM: Gord Wilson gets you set for tonight's game with the best Sens preview in the business.
4:45 PM: Bobby Ryan is being asked to shoot the puck more than ever by Coach MacLean and it's changing his approach to the game. Here's what he had to say...
On shooting more since he joined the Sens:
I find myself shooting a little more. In one of the earlier conversations we had he mentioned if I could lead the team in shots and make a run at leading the league, if that was something I could really work at and try to get to. I think over the past probably two and a half years I've been too selective with them, so I've tried to embrace shooting from different areas, shooting off of one foot, even because if it doesn't go in at least it's creating something and, you know, he would still like me to shoot more and I'm thinking that I'm looking teammates off all the time. I'm trying to find that balance between shooting at the appropriate times and not overthinking it.
On finding a balance between playmaking and shooting:
I think my role with the line playing with Kyle and Mac — and they understand that, you know, I've got to direct the puck at the net and they know that it's coming down from the top as well. I don't think any either one of them are going to get mad at me for shooting the puck, but if they're wide open I'm not going to miss them on purpose that's for sure.
4:00 PM: In today's Gameday Goodie, Gord Wilson talks to Eric Gryba about beards, his first goal of the season and one of his favourite hobbies... duck hunting.
3:15 PM: Here are tonight's projected lineups for the Sens and Ducks...
Michalek - Spezza - Conacher
MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Greening - Smith - Neil
Grant - Zibanejad - Condra
Karlsson - Methot
Phillips - Gryba
Cowen - Corvo
Maroon - Getzlaf - Perry
Etem - Perreault - Selanne*
Cogliano - Koivu - Silfverberg
Winnik - Bonino - Smith-Pelly
Lindholm - Beauchemin
Fowler - Fistric
Allen - Vatanen
(Note: * indicates that Teemu Selanne may be held out of tonight's game after playing Thursday night in Montreal. He typically does not play back-to-back.)
3:00 PM: Sens TV caught up with Colin Greening to talk about with tonight's game against the Ducks. Here's what he had to say...
2:15 PM: Sens head coach Paul MacLean offered up his thoughts on the Anaheim Ducks prior to tonight's game. Here's what he had to say...
On Jason Spezza shooting the puck more:
We've encouraged Jason to shoot the puck over the years and I think the opportunities have been there for him to this date and he can really shoot it. That's positive that he is and we want to keep making sure — we also want Bobby Ryan to shoot the puck. Like our whole team I think we need to be a shooter's mentality than a passer's mentality.
On Mika Zibanejad through a game:
Speed and size through the middle of the rink, I thought he has been good on the forecheck and done a very good job defensively in the game that he played. We'd like to see that continue.
On if Zibanejad looks more confident:
I'd still like to see him handle the puck a little bit more and distribute it a little bit better, but we're not going to ask for too much, we just want to make sure he continues to play and continues to grow as a player. That'll come as long as he keeps playing and he plays well.
On if Gryba's traning camp injury slowed his start to the season:
Any time at training camp to miss it, you get behind and it takes a while to catch up, and with Eric I'm not sure he's caught up even yet. But he is working at his game and our expectation for him is that if he doesn't skate he's not going to defend very well and if he's not physical he's not going to play very well. Those are two aspects of his game that we want him to concentrate on.
On the Ducks:
Well they were way faster, way quicker, way everything than we were last week in Anaheim. We were coming off of a back-to-back, San Jose the night before, 5 o'clock in their building so we have them back-to-back tonight. How fast and how quick are they going to be tonight? So that's going to be interesting to see, but we expect our team to be much faster and quicker than we were the last time we played them. I'm interested to see how it's going to go. They're a very good team. They're well coached, Getzlaf and Perry have played good, their young defence — Vatanen has really been an active player, Fowler is a good player, Lindholm, their goaltending has been good. Their penalty killers with Etem and Cogliano and Bonino, they've all been playing good, their veteran players have been playing good for them. They're a good team. It's going to be a real test for us to come back and, can we do it again? That's the test for our team is can we do it again? We went on the road into a tough building in Detroit and played very well to win the game. Our last game here, although we lost, we played well in. Can we do it again? That's the test and challenge for us.
On the Turris-Ryan combo working better than Spezza-Ryan:
Well that's chemistry, I failed that in high school so I don't know how that goes. I just know sometimes when players are together things happen and when some players are together, nothing happens. I'm not saying nothing happened when Bobby Ryan played with Jason Spezza, maybe a month from now we put them back together and something happens. It's just the way chemistry works.
1:30 PM: Sens defenceman Jared Cowen will play his 100th NHL game tonight. Get his thoughts on the milestone and more...
On his game and offensive start:
It's better, it's even depending on the team's doing well so I think the better team has the better out play, I think everyone kind of feels that way. It's nice to get a couple of goals and 100 games but it's more about just, at the start of the year, getting used to the schedule, getting back to doing things. Once you have that you can play exactly how you want to play.
On reaching his 100 game milestone:
It's nice to get there after you have the setbacks and kind of get past them and get better. Especially surgeries like that, major surgeries, it's always nice to come back and be good again. It seems simple but it's nice to get here. Hopefully I don't have to do that ever or for a long time so hopefully 200 games comes quicker than the first 100.
On if he ever thought he wouldn't hit 100 games because of injuries:
No, never really. I never really think like that, once I had the surgery I thought back to my first surgery and I know how it goes. I've seen lots of guys go through it too, it's nothing new to hockey, everyone has surgeries and comes back so it's no big deal.
On playing without as much emphasis on rehab:
Well, I wish there wasn't any rehab but there's still lots of maintenance and stuff I have to keep doing. It's the same every time someone has a surgery, there's always stuff you've got to keep going. They say you can play and you're able to play, but there's so many things you've got to keep going on and keep up with, otherwise you won't be able to play. It is nice to be playing hockey again, unlike last year. I felt like I was a fan for a bit or a professional workout guy so it's nice to be back on the ice.
On his next steps:
Just doing everything well. Like I said, at the start of the year you can do something really well and other things you think you're doing well but then you're missing holes in your game. Just filling in those holes and being more complete. Once you get that part you can be stepping in more direction. You can keep making strides in areas where you thought you were weaker or you can your game more often.
12:30 PM: Bobby Ryan was mic'd up for the Sens first game against the Ducks in Anaheim. You're going to want to watch this...
10:00 AM: After what was easily their best, most complete game of the season, the Ottawa Senators are back in action tonight at home where they host the Anaheim Ducks.
Tonight's guests have had a good start to their season at 7-3-0, but have struggled away from home with a 2-3-0 mark.
The Sens will hit the ice in the morning at 10:15 for their skate at Canadian Tire Centre. I'll have plenty of updates to follow including, but not limited to, lineup changes, players thoughts on tonight's game, Sens TV updates, Instagram goodness and more.
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