The Sens hit the gym for a round of off-ice workouts and maintenance work on Sunday after a 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon. Head coach Paul MacLean offered his thoughts on the team and the road ahead as the players wrapped up.
Here's what he had to say...
On any injuries:
No, everybody is healthy and today was a day to give them a chance just to be in the gym and a maintenance day for everybody. We're coming in to practice tomorrow.
On preparing for the week ahead against other playoff contenders:
Well for me it's day-by-day like we've done every day. Just take it day-by-day — we can't play the game on Friday or Saturday before we play the game on Tuesday or Wednesday, looking that far ahead doesn't make any sense. The only way we would look at it is planning for potentially our goaltending rotation or defenceman rotation for who our opponents are would be the only reason we would look ahead beyond Tuesday's game in Washington is for roster planning. Right now as I said yesterday, everyone in the league is talking about the last 10 games or 15, whatever they have before the break and I think when you come back it's going to be difficult to mount any kind of a comeback. The whole league is really focused on this month or 10 game stretch heading into the break to see if they can get themselves into a good position and we're no different than anyone else.
On bouncing back:
Well we just come back to practice tomorrow. I think we have to look at it when you have setbacks you have to look at the big picture and say we're looking to be in a good spot after 82 games, not 49 games. Today is an example of looking at the big picture, we could have come in and lined up and skated all day if we wanted to after the effort but we're taking an intelligent look at it and saying this is what we need for our group. Obviously we didn't skate as well as we needed to yesterday and there's a reason for that. We need to have a maintenance day to get everybody back up and running and get ready for our next game.
On if they're close to finding their best team:
I think so. Since the first of December we've been a pretty consistent team game in and game out and even last night we didn't give a whole lot of scoring chances but we gave up some real good ones obviously and they made us pay for some of the mistakes we made. They made a couple of mistakes too that we didn't take advantage of and maybe they got a save out of it or we missed the net or didn't shoot it but we had opportunities. I know when it's 1-0 I remember watching the video this morning, Bobby Ryan comes in and he's eyeball to eyeball with the goalie and chooses to pass the puck. If he shoots that in the net and it's 2-0 maybe the game goes in a totally different direction after that. To me that was a bit of a turning point in the game, the first power play goes to us and we take a penalty. I thought that was another turning point in momentum for the game for our team as well. When we look at the whole thing we didn't skate, I thought they skated better than we did. To answer your question, have we found our best team yet? We're getting real close.
On the play of Spezza:
Well, there's nothing he can do about that (New York's fourth goal), sometimes he's a casualty but it's the offensive side of things that makes up the difference. He was in and had a great scoring opportunity last night himself, I think Stone the other night against Montreal had four or five, six, seven good scoring opportunities and nothing went in the net for them. Once the puck starts to go in the net for them I think it's going to work itself out, but we're satisfied with how he has played and what he has done. Obviously we need him to get better but his total 200 foot game is getting better and better and once he gets through that tunnel we figure his offence will come back.
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