The Sens were back on the ice at the Sensplex on Monday after a Sunday off and, after the skate, Sens head coach Paul MacLean offered his take on the team heading into their return to NHL hockey this week.
Here's what he had to say...
On the focus being on the team's final record vs. individual games:
We want them to understand what the big picture is and the chore that is in front of them but, at the same time, have them understand it's a day-by-day process. You can only get them two points at a time, you have to focus every day on what you have to do for the next game. It's always about the next game and the one you played is irrelevant, it's all about the next game. We wanted to give them the big picture of it early and now it's the day-by-day process. To me that's how you solve challenges, you do it on a day-by-day basis.
On heading out West after the first game back:
It seems that's the way we start every session from the start of the year this year. It is what it is, it's the schedule and we've got to play the games. Our schedule over the last 23 games except for this start of it, we're playing against all the teams we need to be playing against. We're all in the same place and it gives us an opportunity to have a little bit of control over your own destiny by beating the teams around you and beating them in regulation is going to be important.
On Hoffman's recall:
I think it's hard to argue against that. I think since I've been here this is the third time we've had him up here and we really feel — is this the time he's ready to come and play? It certainly appears like it the way he has played in Binghamton and we need a player to come here and help us and be a consistent player. We're not looking for him to take over our team or anything like that. We just want him to come in here, be himself and just be a good teammate every day.
On what he didn't do in earlier recalls:
I don't think he played. I think he looked around and to me it looked like he looked around, saw who was on the ice and was like "what am I doing here?" Played hesitant, played cautious, didn't show he belonged in the league and had the ability to play in the league. Now we feel with the success he has had in Binghamton and being the third opportunity coming back that he's going to recognize that he can play in the league and have the ability to contribute.
On if he is running out of chances:
I'm not sure if he's at that, he's still a young man. He's still a young man, he has played well in the American Hockey League so this is his next opportunity and we feel he's ready for it.
On the job of the Canadian coaches in Sochi:
They won the gold medal and they didn't lose a game, I thought they got tons of credit, but the players play the game so I think the players did a way better job than the coaches did because the players play... I thought it was a great job by them, by the whole staff, the whole group, the team they put together and the game plan they came up with obviously worked fine. I think they deserve tons of credit, that's two gold medals for that group. That's pretty impressive.
On if he'd like to be part of a Team Canada staff:
Any time they ask you to do something like that you would look forward to doing it but all I know is they have to ask you to do it.
On playing in Robert Guertin Area where the Sens will practice Tuesday:
It would have been April 1978 (when he last played there) or March. A little while... A lot of things have changed over there I would think but I'm looking forward to it. I think it's, for myself anyway, a long time since I've been there so I'm looking forward to the chance to get there and go for a whirl.
On Bobby Ryan:
I don't anticipate any issues or setbacks. I didn't here anything so that's a good sign and the rest that we gave him we feel is going to be what he needs to get up and running. We've got two more days to get up and running and we feel he'll be ready to go.
On if he'll use Karlsson normally or ease him back after the Olympics:
We'd probably ease him in at about 37 minutes.
On if it's important for Karlsson to get back for practices before Thursday:
It's not important, he needs time. I believe he got back today, that's what I had heard, I haven't talked to him. He's got today, he's got tomorrow. I'd anticipate he'd be at the pre-game skate on Thursday, that's what I anticipate. If he comes to the rink tomorrow and says he wants to practice we're not going to keep him off the ice.
On Michalek returning to practice:
Milo will practice tomorrow, he got in on Friday and today he was here at the rink and worked out, but he chose not to practice today which is totally fine. He was told that was fine. He got his time away and he'll practice tomorrow.
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