With the Sens doing another round of split practices and skate testing today, players were scattered about this morning after last night's loss to Toronto. When it was all wrapped up, Paul MacLean met with the media during his usual press conference and covered a wide range of topics.
Here's what he had to say...
On hybrid icing:
I think it should be safer for the players. I think it has been dangerous for the last couple of years, especially for defencemen, and it should make the game safer which we're all for that.
On last night's game:
I thought we certainly played well enough to win. We've reviewed it all, I think we had some great opportunities last night and I thought their goalie came in and made some saves or we made him look good, however you want to say it, but he stopped the puck and we weren't as hard at our net as we needed to be and that ends up being — basically they get two power play goals — and that ends up being the difference in the game, we don't get any on ours. That's the difference and unfortunately that's the difference a lot of nights. Power play and penalty killing are important and we need to get better at both.
On sorting out the roster:
That's our plan starting on Sunday is to basically get to our group that'll practice together. We've had a lot of our players separated to this point to make it a competitive balance in the three groups and we've done some testing on other days so we haven't had the full group but we're trying to. We're going to have a good day tomorrow with the scrimmage at the fan fest and we're looking forward to a good effort of, again our systemic play and working and doing things the right way will be important. And then on Sunday we're hoping to get down to, it's not just going to be the 23 guys, it's going to be a bigger number in the 26, 27 range but it's going to be all of our — who we feel is going to have the best potential to be on the team and move forward and practice with that group. The other group will practice as a separate group with Luke Richardson.
On how the intensity will increase with the split:
I think when the team gets together you're practicing against NHL players so that's not an experiment of who's doing this, who's in the NHL and who's not. It's more of a specific 'this is the group' and when the group practices together the execution is better, the attention to detail is better and the speed is better. I think that's going to help us a lot. Not that we haven't played fast, I thought we played plenty fast in the games we've played, we're pleased with that part of it but we still want to get better.
On special teams improvement:
We're going to try to make it harder for them (the power play unit) and harder for our penalty killers. I think it all goes with one, once you start with the NHL players it just gets better.
On who will be playing games:
When we play games we're still going to be using players that are in the Binghamton group as well. It's not like they've gone away, we're still going to need players to play games and there's still an opportunity for them to earn an exhibition game with the way they've practiced and the way they've performed to this point. Nothing is — we're not putting anybody on waivers, we're not doing anything with anybody, it's just a separation of training camp for us to start to get our numbers down. We're still practicing with six lines and eight defencemen, it'll still be a little bit tedious too, but at the same time we want to make sure we're being fair to everyone and giving them the opportunity to show us that they deserve to play on the team.
On the goaltender workloads:
I've got it figured out, I haven't discussed it with him (Craig Anderson) yet, but the plan is for him and Robin, from this point forward, when they play in a game to play 60 minutes... We'll see how it works out, but we've got four games left so that (two games each) makes sense.
On Patrick Wiercioch:
I thought he was good. I thought the way he skated and saw the ice was very encouraging, the defensive part of it didn't seem to be a big issue. On the power play I think that's — I didn't mind it. We'd like them to be more dangerous but he made some great entry passes, Spezza was in twice I think on power play breakouts — one from Karl and one from him — he made some great outlet passes to spring Pageau a couple of times so, the way he passed it from playing on the right side, we were encouraged by how he played.
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