Sens captain Jason Spezza offered his thoughts after today's practice ahead of this week's crucial road trip.
Here's what he had to say...
On getting back on the road:
They're important games so we have to get ourselves up for them. We're playing some teams that are good at home. Washington has been struggling a bit lately so we know they're going to come out ready. They're important games leading up to the break and it's important to try and get some wins.
On putting Saturday behind them:
The other team is going to play well and I don't think we played as well as we had to play and they capitalized on chances and they play good defence once they get a lead. You learn from it, we do some video on it and you park it and move on.
On success vs. Washington:
I think we've done a good job of frustrating them, they have some top guys that if they get rolling it can be a long night and they've done it to us in the past where Ovie has had a hat trick and Backstrom has got going so it's just a matter of being hard on those guys and not letting the game be too easy for them.
On the need to get points before the Olympics:
You want to maintain within striking distance and everyone knows as you go along it's harder to make up points on teams, there's more three point games and games are tighter. It's really important for us to make sure we're trying to pick up these points. We've been on the road a lot and these are important road games for us and we have to try and get wins.
On people picking up injuries:
It's a lot of hockey in a short period of time so you're going to have some bumps and bruises. As long as you can avoid some guys missing long term but if you're going to have guys come in and out of the lineup a little bit it's not the end of the world because it's a lot of hockey but you just want to try and avoid the long term ones obviously.
On Stone's practice injury:
He just kind of tripped a little bit and hit the boards kind of awkwardly and it's minus-20 in there so I'm sure that added to it.
On the Calgary-Vancouver incident:
Well it's hockey and obviously Calgary wanted to send a message to start the game and Vancouver decided to answer with it and things got a little bit heated. It's the emotion of the game and it's what makes hockey such an emotional, fun game and it's why people watch.
On the win streak vs. the Capitals:
I don't think it's one thing, I think we've done a good job of frustrating Ovie and Backstrom and kind of their top guys and our penalty kill has been good against them. If those guys get going, if they get an early goal or get feeling good about their game it can be a long night. We've had it happen before too, we've won the majority of them but we've had Ovechkin — I think he threw down four goals on us one night and Backstrom had a five pointer. If those guys get rolling early it can be a long night so I think we're aware of that and once it happens to you a couple of times you go into the game paying a little more attention to those guys.
On teams settling for single points:
It depends on how the game is going and how the flow of the game is and where you are and who you're playing. Obviously the last 10 minutes of a tied game you don't see many guys taking very many chances anymore and guys are trying to secure the point but you're also trying to win. I think the good teams also have confidence to keep pushing and try to win the game and usually if you're trying to win the game you're playing good defence anyways.
On conversative play late in games:
Mistakes get limited, coaches coach more carefully, players play more carefully. If you can secure a point it helps both teams out but I think, like I said, the best teams in those situations still attack, still play aggressive but they still have confidence that they know what they're doing and you give yourself a better chance to win or get a point that way.
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