The Sens re-convened after a Sunday off for a long, intense practice on Monday filled with plenty of skating for the players. Sens head coach Paul MacLean had his standard media availability after the on-ice workouts.
Here's what he had to say...
On Chris Phillips' absence:
He had a maintenance day is all it is with Chris. He should be fine.
On the shifting in D pairings at practice:
That sense (mixing guys together) yeah. With Chris not there we wanted to go left and right so we had an opportunity to have everybody left handed and right handed with what we were going to do today. That's what we wanted.
On today's high practice intensity:
This was a Monday so historically with a day off and a couple of days before we play, those Mondays were always work days for us. Whether or not it's as long as today was or shorter in the past, it always kind of depends on how we're playing. Today is more about it's a work day, it's Monday, but there's also things we have to work on.
On if recent games forced a more intense practice:
I don't think so, I think we just tried to coach the team. We just tried to be the coach and make sure we did things right.
On mixing in skating drills to the practice:
The theory behind that is if we're going to get conditioning for the players you would just skate the 12 minutes at the end of practice when there's already fatigue in place. We felt that our team is in condition but that we could use a little extra pop, the quick step in our game. The theory behind it is if we take the 12 minutes of skating and break it up into segments in practice, that'll give us the pop in our first three steps. Whether or not it works remains to be seen, but that's the theory behind it.
On the discipline of the team:
I think still we took penalties we shouldn't take. So that's still something we have to talk about and the players have to talk about. The two penalties for the 5-on-3 we can flip a coin. Was it or wasn't it? They were penalties obviously because they called them. Was it a direct — one guy is going to the net hard and the other guy is turning and trying to get to a puck. The straight answer to your question is it's still a concern, we still take too many penalties and we still have to get our feet moving and play defence with our feet and not our sticks.
On how the team can draw more penalties:
We skate, if you have the puck more and you skate and you play hard, you usually get more penalties if you're dictating the way game is being played.
On where the bottom six can improve:
Well if we win more faceoffs in the offensive zone... Without the puck I think they've been fine, it's with the puck in the neutral zone we try to do too much instead of just getting the puck in and establishing forechecks and establishing pucks to the opposition's net. We sometimes try to do too much and that would be the only criticism I have of them right now is that with the puck we might be trying to do too much and as the result you're disorganized when you come back into your own zone and if you're disorganized bad things are going to happen.
On going to Detroit with Alfredsson present:
Well, Mike Babcock is still there, Pavel Datsyuk is still there, Henrik Zetterberg is still there, there are a lot of people that are still there. It's still a great place and I had the opportunity to win the Stanley Cup there so it's always going to be a place where you're going to go back to and know lots of people. As far as I'm concerned it's the next game on the schedule really, and they're a difficult opponent. We need to be more focused on them than anything else.
On if they'll say anything to the team ahead of the game:
I think Bobby Ryan went back to Anaheim and it was emotional for him, I'm not going to be able to speak for Daniel. We're just going there to play the Red Wings, that's all my focus is on is we're playing the Red Wings. That's a big enough task in my book.
On prepping the team to play Detroit as a team:
Every game somebody knows somebody. This is the first time so I guess that makes it more significant, but the first time Bobby went back to Anaheim he seemed to get through it alright. We all have our first so I think it's more on Daniel than it is on us. They have a good team, they have lots of good players, Daniel is one of them. Our focus is on the Red Wings and how they play as a team, not one guy.
On Erik Karlsson's minutes:
No (there's no minute gauge), if he's playing for us he can play all night long. If he's not, he won't…there's no set number before the game. We don't say play him over this or play him over that. It all depends on that. If he's playing, he's playing all the time and when I say he's playing I mean that he's performing. We don't have a set number that he has to play 25, he has to play 27, he has to play 30. There's not a set number… We're not worried about tiring him out. If he's tired he'll come ask for a day off and we'll give it to him…I find that when he's playing good he plays more and when he isn't playing good he plays less, so I guess the answer would be yes (he's more engaged when he plays more). If he's more engaged or if he's playing well, that's what we base it on is how well he's playing. You could use the word engaged, I could say that he's playing hard, he's playing for us, he's playing for them. I think it's the same thing. When he's playing he's on the ice all the time. We don't have a set number and that's how it works.
On players playing better when they play more:
Play better then so then you get to play.
On the next stretch as a measuring stick:
I think the measuring stick we had on our last road trip out west when we went to LA, San Jose and Anaheim we didn't measure up very good. The opportunity now is for us to get back home here and regroup. It's a short trip to Detroit, but I think that every game we play is a measuring stick a little bit, but this is a sequence where we're playing two of the same teams again in Anaheim and San Jose so we need to play and push ourselves to make sure that we measure up against them or where we measure up against them. The Red Wings have perenially been a good team, they're in our division now so there's a bit of a measure — I think they're at the top of our division now. But every game — the game against Edmonton was a measuring stick too. These are obviously against teams we've played, Anaheim and San Jose, and we need to step up.
On the change since Alfredsson's departure:
Well he's just not here, it's different because he's not here and you talk to other people. That's the only thing that's different. For me it's we've moved on and we're going ahead with this group, this the group we have and that's all we work with and that's all we think about.
Coach MacLean's full availability can be seen here courtesy of Sens TV:
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