Sens forward Mark Stone will be returning to his hometown of Winnipeg to take on the Jets for the first time in his career tonight when the Senators play their fifth pre-season game tonight at MTS Centre. Stone has played in two contests thus far and figures to line up alongside Zack Smith and Mike Hoffman in Winnipeg tonight.
"I'm excited, it's only pre-season but it's nice to go play in front of friends and family. I know I'll have a lot of people there watching me," said Stone.
Stone figures to be in the centre of heated competition for an NHL roster spot at the moment. In addition to playing alongside Smith and Hoffman, he has also had time with Kyle Turris and Clarke MacArthur through training camp, which is where he finished his 2013-14 season. His two-way play, size and playmaking ability figure to have him in the thick of the pack to break camp with the team and head to Nashville for the season opener.
"I felt like I've played pretty well. My main concern coming into camp was to keep my feet moving at all times," said Stone. "I know I have the skills to play here I just need to keep working on my feet, keep moving them and try not to do too much and keep my shifts at a length where I can continue to play as hard as I do in the first in the third."
Stone's style of play has given him the opportunity to line up with a number of different Senators centres and wingers in his time with the big club. That adaptability is a point of pride in his game.
"I like to think that guys like playing with me. I try to keep the game simple and try to let my skill take that on," said Stone. "I've played with a bunch of guys since I've been here and I haven't complained about anyone, there's a lot of guys in this locker room that are easy to play with. Whether it's Smitty or Hoff or Clarke and Turry, they're all easy to play with and play the game the way it's supposed to be played."