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MacLean ahead of pre-season game 6

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

The Sens are getting ready to play the second leg of their home and home with the Montreal Canadiens tonight after taking down the Habs 5-2 at Canadian Tire Centre last night. Tonight's lineup will feature a much more youthful look including the debuts of a couple young Sens in Matt Puempel and Curtis Lazar.

Here's what Coach MacLean had to say about tonight's game...

On tonight's younger lineup in Montreal:

Well we like the team we're taking to Montreal and we expect to be competitive and give ourselves a chance to win the game. That's what we expect. We have some good young players in the lineup and it's going to be a test for sure going in there and playing against probably their full team, but we're looking forward to our players going there and responding to it.

On Lazar making his debut:

Well I think it's definitely another step up for sure, he has played very well through the rookie tournament and we want to give him an opportunity to show us that he can play at the National Hockey League level. We certainly believe that he can, we drafted him where we did and this is an opportunity for him to show what he can do.

On if Lazar is a centre or a winger:

I think he's more naturally a centreman but he has the hockey sense to be able to play both.

On Craig Anderson playing a full game tonight:

That's what's happening, it's not a plan. That's what's happening, he's playing the game.

On last night's injuries:

Everybody is fine and a lot of our veteran players are not practicing today and they're not practicing tomorrow because basically by design of the training camp we've had a full schedule up to this point, so any of the veteran players who have played in the last games are not skating today or tomorrow. We'll come back on Saturday, practice and then play the last two games. Everybody who was nicked up is fine.

On a full roster for Sunday:

We're going to have a split squad so we're going to split it up. This is the way the schedule was presented so this is the plan. It's not a different one. This is what we have to work with and this is what we're working with. We've tried to have everybody get the opportunity to play and I think at this point in time we've done that, we feel good about our team being ready to play and we feel that after next week we don't start until the 4th and we have another three days of practice so we can get ourselves going in the right direction.

On Erik Condra's status after the high stick:

I think he has had to see the dentist, which those of us that like it would enjoy it, but I'm not one of them.

On any borderline hits from last night:

Well hockey is hockey so it's a physical game. I'm not sure there was anything that I thought was anything more than guys trying to play hockey and trying to show that they want to play. The only dangerous hit, I thought, was possibly the hit on Bobby Ryan but he kind of turned into it. I have no complaints about anything.

On Tinordi's hit on Karlsson:

It was a glancing blow, Erik was able to avoid and he avoided it. He saw it coming. I mean, it could have been worse if he didn't see it, but his instincts were good and he got out of the way and made the guy miss. The guy is just trying to play hockey, if you're in the middle of the rink and you're not looking bad things happen all the time.

On what he needs to see from bubble players:

For me it's consistency, it's who is the most consistent player, not only from game to game but practice to practice. What their practice habits are, what their habits are around the rink and in the gym, how dedicated they are to being an NHL player. There are lots of factors, the actual games — the exhibition games they play in — are only a small part of what goes in to the decision and what ends up separating the players and where the players end up making the decisions for you is when you look at the whole picture, somebody does it better and more consistently than the other guy. That's how it is for me.

On if the final games could sway him at all:

They can, it's all about consistency. It's all about the whole body of work in training camp and once training camp is over we can make the decision. Guys that didn't play last night are playing tonight and they have an opportunity tonight, they have an opportunity to practice just like the other guys did. If you're playing a game and you can play well that probably carries, I suppose, a little more weight, but how you practice and how you prepare every day and the work ethic you have in the gym and the dedication you have, those are all important factors too. The whole body of work is what we try to make the decisions on and I believe that's the fairest way to do it.

On how many players he intends to carry:

Well, we're allowed to carry 23 so if we can carry 23 we will. If it ends up being 22 — last time we had a full schedule we were around 22 most of the time just to give ourselves a little wiggle room — I would say that's probably what we'll do again is 22 and it could be 23, especially since we start with six games on the road out west.

Sens TV has Coach MacLean's full availability here:

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