The Senators return from a brief two-game pre-season road swing to Manitoba and Saskatchewan on Tuesday for a day off before hitting the ice for their first session since their two victories over Winnipeg and Calgary on Wednesday. Sens head coach Paul MacLean met with the media for the first time since the team's return to recap the weekend and offer his thoughts on Thursday's game.
Here's what he had to say...
Before we start I'd like to say on behalf of the Ottawa Senators organization our thoughts and prayers are out there for the victims of the bus accident in Barrhaven today and also to the first responders in there in immediate response to the accident.
On injury updates:
Gryba did some loopty loos this morning before everybody got started and Curtis Lazar actually skated today early with Jason Smith but both of them are still day-to-day.
On tomorrow's lineup:
We will have a lineup later this afternoon with who is going to play.
On if he's excited to play in Ottawa:
I am, yeah. On the road the team played real well I thought in the first game. In the second game it was a little bit more bumpy. I think the ice had something to do with it and the Flames had something to do with it as well. We're looking forward to getting here at home and we think it'll be a great opportunity for us to come out and anytime we play the Maple Leafs it's usually a good game and we're looking forward to it.
On what the Flames did in game two:
I thought they played well. They played hard, they really forechecked and they established a real good forecheck on us and tested us in end of the rink. I thought they were a really good test for us.
On Clarke MacArthur:
Well I think we're still trying to figure out what the expectations are going to be but we knew he was an NHL player. He's played over 400 games so we knew he was a finished product type of thing, it's not like he's developing. We're going to take our time with any projections as to what he's going to be, but he's as advertised. He's a 400 game player, to me he's been very good, very professional.
On his experience mixing with the youth:
I think that's really important. The fact that Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur who we're added to our team, both have over 400 games in the league. We have a lot of guys who haven't played 200 yet and I think that's going to be an important and stabilizing factor for our team this year.
On Ryan with the top line:
So far, so good. I thought they over-passed the puck a little bit in Winnipeg but in the first game that's what they're going to do. They're trying to find each other out and sort each other out but so far it appears that they have some chemistry developing, much like Turris and MacArthur seem to have some chemistry as well. That gets us a little bit excited.
On how a coach looks at how those players gel:
It's just getting used to one another. Where they're going to be at the right time and where they like to have the puck when they pass it to them in certain situations and it's just a matter of practicing and playing together. Right now it just appears the more they play together and practice together the better they're going to be. If they can end up being good that's going to be good for us.
On the feeling out process:
I think they're trying to find where each other are and they're being over kind to one another trying to share the puck and make sure everybody gets to touch the puck rather than just shooting it. There's still a little bit of summer hockey in them in the first exhibition game. As it goes along we get better and better at sticking to what we do but, at first they've got to have a little bit of fun before we take the fun out of it.
On MacArthur falling out of favour in Toronto:
I don't see that happening to us at this point in time. I think he's been a pretty consistent player over his time whether it's in Toronto or Buffalo. To me he's been a consistent player. Sometimes maybe they're hiding an injury when they sit him out, I'm not sure what they did there, but as long as he tends to his knitting here and does what we ask him to do we're going to get him out there.
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