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Paul MacLean before the West Coast swing

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

The Sens are packed up to take off for their four game west coast road swing today. After practice at Canadian Tire Centre, Sens head coach Paul MacLean met with the media for his usual availability before the team took off for Los Angeles.

Here's what he had to say...

On Jason Spezza's practice absence:

Maintenance day... As far as I know (he will play).

On if the recurring problem is a concern this early:

Games are obviously more important but we certainly want to — practice is also important. But early in the year you want to err on the side of making sure about things and having people ready to play the games is more important.

On if it's the same issue from pre-season:


On Peter Laviolette's firing in Philadelphia:

It scares me to death, but I don't know anything about it other than obviously you're judged on performance and your record. Pete's a good guy and he's a good coach, but this is hockey.

On Bobby Ryan's first two games:

I had eight shots on goal in Buffalo and another six attempts — attempts I should say, not shots — something like 15 attempts in the first two games which I think is fine. I thought he played well without the puck, had some opportunities that maybe didn't go in. I thought he was fine.

On if Spezza is showing signs of missing time:

Well I think he has shown — if you miss large parts of training camp and the opportunity to skate it's going to show in your game. I think the pace of his game wasn't where we would like it to be.

On unique aspects of the road trip:

I think it scared them way more in 1980 than it does in 2013 and '14 for sure. It's on the schedule the way it is, I think our players — some of them — have never played in California, I could be wrong on that, but I don't know if they've played a lot there. It's different, in February it's obviously a way bigger difference than it is in October but the schedule is what it is, it's an opportunity for us to get on the road and continue go on the first two games where we got three out of four points. If we can continue that pace we're going to be good, but it's going to be difficult, we're going into some difficult buildings and, like I said, the schedule gives us time to be ready for all of those buildings except the back-to-back San Jose and Anaheim. But, for the most part, for three of the games we should be able to be there, be ready and be ready to go at the drop of the puck.

On if there will be any team building work done:

I think the opportunity is there, whether or not the captains decide that's what they're going to do. There's nothing formal from our point of view, we're just going to get down to business and play.

On if the Sens miss Alfredsson and Silfverberg for shootouts:

I think the guys we have on our team are — we didn't get past two last night so it's hard to tell. I think Milan and Jason have a pretty good record in the shootout in the past, I think we had Kyle (Turris) third in Toronto and then we could to Bobby Ryan, we could go to Conacher, we could go to MacArthur, we could go to Karlsson. I think that list is longer than what we've had in the past. I don't think that the shootout is going to be a big issue that way.

On CBC criticism of Bobby Ryan's skating:

I'm fine with his skating... I don't think the picture of him has a dimension of speed, no, that's not his dimension. But he skates more than fine to play in the NHL.

On criticism of Ryan's fitness:

I don't think there's any — whoever CBC is, or whoever they are, don't know what they're talking about. His conditioning level is fine.

On if too much is expected of Ryan:

I think he has probably got a bigger microscope on him because of that situation (Alfredsson's departure) but the expectations from us aren't that he has to do much, we just want him to do what he does. He was in on scoring opportunities, it didn't go good for him, maybe not as good as we would have liked, he didn't get three in each game, but it wasn't reasonable to expect him to get three in each game either. So, for me, he averaged seven attempts at the net, so maybe they're not all grade-A, but still he had an opportunity to shoot and if he continues to get opportunities it's going to go in the net. We'll wait and see what happens in game three.

On if he (as a former NHL goal scorer) could help Ryan:

I was way better than him (laughs)... Everybody was in the 80's. Everybody got 30. I just basically tell him that, don't pass up an opportunity to shoot. It's going to go in. The puck goes in for him and I don't think that game two is the time for me to sit down and tell him how to score goals. I mean, he got a pretty good one out there today that I saw and a couple other ones so he went two games without scoring a goal, it's not an issue for me and I certainly hope it's not an issue for him.

On if the league's spinorama position is clear:

Well they're right so it doesn't matter what I say. They have the position that they're always right so obviously I didn't hear properly. I've only got grade 12 and I only went two semesters at Dalhousie so I don't hear very good I guess, but they're right.

Here's Coach MacLean's full availability courtesy of Sens TV:

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