The Sens hit the ice at Nationwide Arena in Columbus today for a practice prior to Tuesday's game with the Blue Jackets. Here's a sampling of what they had to say after the skate...
Senators head coach Paul MacLean spoke with the media after today's skate and passed along his thoughts and updates. Here's what he had to say...
On tomorrow's lineup:
We're going to further evaluate everything and see what happens. We had a practice today to get the kinks out and get things sorted out but I think we have some discussions before we finalize everything.
On tomorrow's goaltender:
Robin, we did decide that.
On getting Cowen in:
When he's ready to go in and when we feel he's ready and if someone warrants coming out. If the six guys that are playing out there are playing well enough and right now that's our best six, we won't take them out to take them out or put them in to put them in. We don't want to leave him out a long time but at the same time we want to have the best group out there.
On if he's liked what he's seen from Cowen in practice:
For the most part yeah, he has worked at his game and spent a lot of time with Jason Smith and Mark Reeds doing what he needs to do and that's what we want to see. We want to make sure he continues to work at his game and make improvements.
On the shots against in Chicago as a concern:
We're kind of okay with it. It's a large number so yes but at the same time it's in Chicago, we're more concerned with the scoring chances which we had at 15. That's not unacceptable, we don't want it to be 15, we'd rather it be 11 or 10 but at the same time they put the puck to the net lots, they had the puck lots. The scoring chances are more of a concern to us than the shots.
On if there's a reason for the high number:
A lot of it is our play with the puck. When we turn over the puck in the neutral zone it comes back to our net a lot. Sometimes on our breakouts we've spent too much time in our zone and we don't get it out cleanly. Our execution with the puck leads to more of the shots on net.
On missed shots:
I think we had two 2-on-1s where we didn't even get a shot on net. Again, we believe we can create offence by shooting the puck so we need to shoot it. If it hits the net it creates way more offence than when it misses. We're getting the attempts at the net which means we have the puck and we're taking shots.
On the second period against Chicago:
Our second period has been, really, our worst period every game we've played this year for whatever reason. We need to find a way to fix that. The first and thirds we've played a pretty consistent game but in the second we don't. The puck seems to be on the wall all the time, the puck seems to be in our zone all the time, we can't get off the ice because of that and it leads to multiple scoring chances and shots at our net. We need to find a solution for our second period and give ourselves a better chance.
On Zibanejad's scoring drought:
He might have passed up a couple of chances to shoot last night that we would have liked to see him shoot but for the most part Mika's play without the puck has been very good. We're very pleased with it. If, as a centreman, he can take care of that play without the puck to begin with, he'll end up with points at the end.
Robin Lehner is slated to get the start tomorrow against Columbus. Here's what he had to say about taking on the Blue Jackets...
On the matchup:
They're a good team, they have good players, they have one of the best goalies in the world. Obviously their offence is good... there's a lot of good players, a few good young players too. It's always close games when we play them so it's going to be a challenge and hopefully we can bounce back a little bit.
On if there's any animosity from the scuffle at the end of the last Columbus game:
No, it was Foligno, he has always been like that to me. I wouldn't say he's a talker, he likes to chirp me on the ice and that's fine. He did the same when he was here so I don't see that changing.
The Senators' annual Father and Son road trip kicked off this past Saturday with the team's game against New Jersey before heading off to Chicago and now Columbus. After today's practice, Sens TV caught up with Mark Borowiecki and his father, Tom.
Take a look...