The Ottawa Senators hit the practice ice on Monday morning ahead of their game on Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings and before four home games in six days. Here's a sampling of what they had to say...
Senators head coach Paul MacLean offered his thoughts and updates ahead of tomorrow's tilt with the Detroit Red Wings. Here's what he had to say...
Boro went for a little skate today so he's still day-to-day. Methot skated again today so that's progress. Chiasson left practice but I think that's more for maintenance than anything else. We don't anticipate him not being available.
On if Boro will play this week:
He's day-to-day with an upper body injury, I'm going to say yes he is (out against Detroit)... That (he will be available at some point this week) is what we believe. If not, we'll speak to that when we know. Right now he has made good progress and we anticipate that by the end of the week he should be able to play.
On if Methot has a timetable to rejoin the team:
No, we're still being patient. He's ramping things up and ramping things up but there's still a ways to go.
He was on the ice and then he left. I don't know if he got a bad skate. I know he blocked a shot in Boston the other day so his skate might have given him some discomfort. I'm not exactly sure what it is but I'm assuming it's that.
On tomorrow's goaltender:
On playing Greening:
I think we're getting to a point where we have to play our best team and decide what our best team is. Condra and Greening obviously have to be in that consideration with our group and those are discussions we're continuing to have. We have a four game homestand here and we're playing every other night. We're going to have to use everybody some time. Eventually it comes to a point where the tenth game is where you've got to play your best team too. That's the decision we're in discussions on today.
I'm not sure if it's dragging on for him but we're going to play the game tomorrow as is. If he's in the game it'll be his ninth game and we'll have to make a decision. Eventually he's making the decision for us. We told him at the start that we'd play this window of games and make a decision afterwards. I don't think it's being hard on him, I think we've been pretty up front with him that we're going to make a decision on how he's played and considering the future and what he can go to and if this is the best place for him to get to that place in the future... He has been very consistent and he hasn't done anything for us not to keep him but we have to make the decision based on what's best for our team and also for him. He's still a young man and we have to make sure that he's in the proper environment to grow into the player we all see him potentially being.
On playing four home games:
I think it's important. We've built some momentum at home with the start to our season. We need to come out tomorrow night and have a game. We have a good opponent so we should be fired up to play them and, again, we want to build some momentum. We can't look to Sunday, we have to make sure we stay in today, get ready for tomorrow's game and come out and play to win.
They have great structure and work ethic and they have some world class players in Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Franzen is a world class player, but Datsyuk and Zetterberg can make a lot of people good. They're multipliers. They're going to be a handful, they work hard, they take away ice and time and space, they're going to skate. Nyquist has pretty good skill. Their power play is always good, I'm not sure if their numbers are great at this point in the season, but they're a very good team.
On Karlsson's minus-4 in Boston:
We talk to him and discuss the various plays, whether or not it was all him or somebody else, we discuss it with him and the team and get ready for the next game. We can't do anything about the game there. The only thing we can do is review it, talk about it and get ready for the next game. Erik is going to play lots of minutes and lots of games and it's not always going to go his way. The thing we talk to him about the most is recognizing when it's not going his way and adjusting his game within the game... Erik has always been coachable since I've been here. Any time I've talked to him he can take it on the ice and do things. His aptitude is very good.
On Detroit giving Alfredsson time to decide on his future:
Yes (older players deserve that respect), but that's their business, not mine. Everyone has tremendous respect for older players in the game and they want to play as long as they can and if you can play that's great, keep playing... When I retired they took my skates away, they wouldn't let me play anymore. They wouldn't let me play any more so I said, "okay, I'll scout."
Senators forward Clarke MacArthur spoke with the media after today's practice. Here's what he had to say...
On Karlsson's performance in Boston:
We've got to support him. Some of the plays out there aren't just on him, there are five guys out there. The other plays — I make mistakes, everyone makes mistakes and the other four guys need to get back to the middle of the ice and help out in that area. As far as his play, it's not on him. Everyone has to help out together.
On improving execution tomorrow night:
We've got to slow up the forecheck, go D-to-D and move the puck and forwards have to get skating. We didn't have much of a forecheck I didn't think. We put pucks where we couldn't get them back and when we got to the blueline we didn't attack it with speed like we normally do. We're an easier team to play against if we're not going to skate. We don't have the big bodies, we've got to be moving and we didn't do that.
He's been playing great and that line has been playing great. They had a lot of energy and they got another one in Boston. That's the young line — if they chip in it's a bonus and they've been taking care of their own end and doing their job. All three of them have been great.
On the week ahead:
It's a big week especially with the teams we've got. Detroit is going to be tough, you've got Toronto at the end of it. Minnesota is coming in here. Four games at home, you have to have a good home record and it'll be a good test. These are all good teams coming in.
He's been great, I think he's been great. He's a big body, he gets to the net, he scores on opportunities. He has been a great pickup for us.
Senators captain Erik Karlsson offered his thoughts heading into a busy week at home for the Sens. Here's what he had to say...
On if it's too early to talk about the playoff race:
I think we've been good, we're happy with the record we have and we're happy with where we are. We had a letdown game in Boston last time and that's what they're going to be sometimes. Luckily we play tomorrow again and I don't think that's going to affect us in any way. Win or loss we look ahead to the next game and tomorrow is against Detroit.
On the busy week ahead:
We know we have four games at home here but as of right now we focus on the game tomorrow. No matter what happens there we're going to evaluate that after the game and the day after and move on to the next one. That's what you have to do for the remainder of the season. If you look back at where we are I think we're pleased with where we are right now. We haven't played our best hockey but we're not supposed to do that yet either.
On improving the play:
We have to be a bit more consistent during the game. Putting up a 60 minute effort would be nice. As of right now we have our ups and downs and I think we've been managing them well but going forward here we may need to put a little bit more focus in on the whole game and try not to have letdowns where we let in a few goals and have to change all the time.
On this week as a measuring stick:
They're fun games to play. Tomorrow we play a division rival and it's points we can't afford to lose so it's a big one for us and it's always fun playing Detroit. We've got to try and stay focused for 60 minutes and hopefully we like where we are by the end of it.
We still talk frequently. He's doing as good as he can, I think he still hasn't decided what he's going to do and he's not going to be playing against us tomorrow so I'm going to miss out on a good dinner tonight but that's the way it is sometimes. Whatever happens with him, I think he's the only one who knows that.
They've been a quality team for decades now so it's fun games to play. It's games we want to play well in and I don't think anybody will have any problems getting motivated to play Detroit tomorrow.
On if it's easy to turn the page after a bad game:
Oh yeah, I do it all the time when I read. It's not that hard at all. I don't know how many games I've played now. If I evaluated every game I've played and let myself down in the games I didn't play good enough in I think I wouldn't be here right now. I'm just going to have to turn the page and move forward. I don't really care what happened last game. We lost and that's the end of it, end of the story for me. For most of the season, for the 10 games, I think we're pleased with where we are.
On if things change for him as captain:
No, not at all. I still feel the same way, I still look the same and the team still looks the same. For me it's just one of those things where maybe I get a little more focused on it but for me personally I think it doesn't effect me.
Obviously he has some nice ones in this building. He's a good player and I've played with him and against him a lot of times. They have a lot of good players over there and we've just got to focus on playing good for 60 minutes and giving them as little as possible and try to not have those meltdowns in the game where we let in a couple of goals. They've got some skilled players on the other team so we'll have to be sure we take care of them.
He's obviously one of the best players in the League right now and he's a guy who's so smart that if you try to go head-to-head with him it's going to be tough. You've got to play it safe sometimes and give him something and give him the worst option and hope for the best.