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Quick Hits: Jean-Gabriel Pageau

by Craig Medaglia / Ottawa Senators

We caught up with Sens centre Jean-Gabriel Pageau for a quick chat after this morning's skate and prior to hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight.

On playing a top 6 role recently:

I've had the chance to play in different situations, power play, PK and 5-on-5. I think it's a great mark of confidence from the coach to put me there. I don't think I change my game really, I just try to work hard, keep things simple but for sure when you play with players like Mark Stone, who was nominated for rookie of the year last season, he's a great passer and it's fun for me to play with him.

On his increased efficiency in the face-off circle:

We have four good centres and we practice a lot after every practice with Zack Smith, Turris, Mika, Lazar...there's a bunch. It's good to practice and it's huge in the game to get possession of the puck. I think that's something that I take pride in. Winning faceoffs...it's a one-on-one battle and you try to win as many battles as you can.

On working to improve the team's penalty kill:

I think it's just about trusting the system. Maybe we aren't getting the bounces we want or the execution wasn't what we wanted but we practice it a lot now. We did a lot of video, a lot of meetings and I think it's going to change something for the future.

On leading the league in shorthanded goals with 5 this season:

I've had the chance to play on the PK almost every year so for sure it helps when you are on the ice. Sometimes I just get the lucky bounce over a stick of the defenseman or a blocked shot from my teammates that give me the chance to go too. You can't forget, I've scored two into empty nets also but I like to play on the PK. Obviously, I'm not trying to score goals when I'm on the PK, I try to defend it but it's fun when you score too.

On facing the Maple Leafs tonight on Hockey Day in Canada:

It's exciting not only for us but for the fans. The Battle of Ontario is something I've had the chance to be involved in for the past few years and it's always an exciting, intense game.

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