Senators forward Zack Smith returns to the lineup for the team's final pre-season game against the Canadiens tonight. Here's what he had to say about his pre-season and getting back at it against a Sens rival...
A day after signing a seven-year contract extension with the Senators, Bobby Ryan sent fans home happy with an overtime winner in the club's final home pre-season fixture. Ryan beat Montreal's Peter Budaj in the low slot with the Sens on the power play to seal a 4-3 victory. In two pre-season games for the Senators he has recorded three goals.
"The whole attitude in the room changes when you're playing that team and it doesn't feel like a pre-season game," said Ryan. "It certainly didn't look like one in the third when it got chippy and tensions rose. It was good, both teams rallied around it and we did a really good job of handling the emotions."
Is he worried about using up too many goals in the pre-season?
"You want to feel good, you want to feel like you're making a difference, you just hope you don't have three good games and hit a wall or something. That's always in the back of your mind. I'll take them whenever they are, it feels good to make a difference whether it's pre-season or not."
Senators defenceman Mark Borowiecki had a solid showing on the back-end Friday night as a key part of a Sens penalty kill that killed off six of seven minors in addition to being a physical force at even strength. He captured some headlines as well for a spirited fight with Canadiens star PK Subban during a large skirmish between the two sides. The physical side of the game is nothing new for "BoroCop" who has paved his path to a pro career with a tough brand of hockey.
"I'll give him credit, he stood in there. He's known as a skill player but he's pretty tough too," said Borowiecki. "That's just the nature of the game, especially a rivalry like that. In that situation you just want to protect yourself and protect your teammates."
Borowiecki said he felt good about his performance outside of the headline grabbing fight as well.
"I felt pretty strong, actually. I said earlier today after the pre-game skate that I've got a good sense of familiarity with Grybes out there. We played a lot together in the minors and I think we work pretty well together."
Senators head coach Paul MacLean offered up his thoughts after the team pulled out a 4-3 overtime victory in Ottawa over the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night. Here's what he had to say...
Senators forward Alex Chiasson is set to make his home debut in a Senators jersey tonight when Ottawa hosts the Montreal Canadiens at Canadian Tire Centre.
In three pre-season games thus far for the Sens, Chiasson has recorded a pair of goals in addition to a shootout marker as part of his first training camp as a Senator. Tonight's debut will be extra special as he will get his first taste of the Senators/Canadiens rivalry and take on his hometown team.
"I think every game is big but when you play Montreal obviously it adds a little bit for the team and for me being from there," said Chiasson. "I think it's going to be a great experience regardless of it's pre-season or not."
Senators fans and pundits watching the pre-season have voiced their excitement with the play of defenceman Cody Ceci. A summer removed from a surprise rookie season where he filled in nicely along the Sens' blueline, Ceci appears to be even more at home at the back for the club. Some have even suggested that he may have a bit more "Karlsson" in his game than in the past.
While Ceci has said that he feels more comfortable and would like to take on a more offensive mindset that made him a productive player in junior, he attributes much of his progress to this point to a full summer in the gym with Chris Schwarz and the Senators' training staff.
"This is the first summer that I've trained all summer with Schwarzy and he knows the game pretty well, he's been around for a while and he knows how we need to train," said Ceci. "It's pretty sport-specific and that has been awesome for me this past summer. Just living close to the rink I can come in every day, be more comfortable in the room and that translates on the ice."
Ceci is set to be paired alongside Chris Phillips tonight when the Senators take on the Canadiens.
Senators forward Mike Hoffman will suit up against Montreal tonight when the Sens host the Habs at Canadian Tire Centre. Hoffman "deserved another opportunity to play" according to Senators head coach Paul MacLean and will get the call in front of the home fans this evening.
With three goals and six points in 25 games played with the Sens last season, Hoffman figures to be a player in line for better fortunes if he sticks with the big club. His shooting percentage was 4.9 per cent in Ottawa last season in those games after shooting 15.9 per cent during his first team all-star season with Binghamton prior to his call-up. Hoffman talked about the importance of playing the high-tempo, high volume offensive game that has got him to this point.
"That's what I try and focus on, I try to get four or five shots a night," said Hoffman. "If I get a chance to shoot the puck I know the coaches and management want me to do that. If you're putting pucks towards the net it's only a matter of time before pucks are going in or you're getting rebounds and assists off of it."
Senators head coach Paul MacLean offered his updates on the team ahead of tonight's game against the Montreal Canadiens. Here's what he had to say...
Senators head coach Paul MacLean spoke with the media after Thursday's practice and pair of announcements. Here's what he had to say about a big day for the franchise...