We caught up with Sens forward Curtis Lazar for a quick chat after this morning's skate and prior to hosting the Edmonton Oilers tonight.
On his time playing with Connor McDavid during the 2015 World Junior Championship:
When you're sitting in your hotel room and you've got people calling asking "Is this Connor's room?", that was tough for him. So I tried to help eliminate some of those distractions and the small stuff that he had to deal with. Connor's a really mature kid. He's taken it in stride ever since he's been recognized as a hockey talent. I see him more as a friend than a competitor or my opponent for tonight. That's just the way it's been and I've been answering questions about him day after day but I'm excited. The guys are at their best when they are on the ice having fun and it's where you're most comfortable. It's going to be no different tonight, it's another game and we're going to have some fun with it.
On if he was able to catch up with McDavid while he was in town:
I invited him over for dinner last night but I understand they had quite a long day yesterday so he stayed in for room service...again probably trying to stay out of the limelight. I went out for dinner with Griffin Reinhart and caught up with him so I'm looking forward to running in to all my friends on this team today. You've got McDavid, Nurse, Reinhart, Gryba, Draisaitl...there's a lot of guys and not to mention the fact that I played my junior hockey in Edmonton. I've got close ties to the hockey club and I love the city of Edmonton. I grew up a bit of an Oilers fan being around the team for a few years so these games, for myself, are more than just a game. It's special and pretty easy to wake up for.
On playing against a physical defenseman and former teammate in Eric Gryba:
It's going to be interesting to see what happens. I know for our hockey club we want to target him and really pressure him. Grybs is a great guy and was an awesome teammate for me last year. He really helped me adjust to the NHL game and let me be myself. He was always there if I needed him so it's going to be a little different seeing him in some different colours out there but that's how the hockey world works sometimes.
On the message from the coaches before tonight's game:
We need a response. It's pretty plain and simple. We have to get off to a better start. Our hockey team is at it's best when we play with pace and we know that. We need to move our feet for an entire 60 minutes and really just play the game and trust our instincts. Not overthink things as much and just do what you do best and I think we'll be fine.