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Hartsburg, Sens begin new quest

Training camp should a different kind of team, new head coach says

Tuesday, 09.16.2008 / 3:36 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Hartsburg, Sens begin new quest
A new day dawned for the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday at Scotiabank Place.

For Craig Hartsburg, it means the time is finally at hand to begin molding the type of team he’d like to bring to the rink with him each and every night.

“The biggest thing for us is, we have to build an identity and that starts today,” the new Senators coach said on a day in which players reported for medicals and physical testing, signalling the start of training camp for the 2008-09 season. “We like the pieces that are here, the depth that we have. But on paper, it doesn’t matter.

"It’s about the identity that we build and how quickly we build it.”

Centre Mike Fisher believes the Senators will be a tougher team to play against if new head coach Craig Hartsburg has his way (Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/OSHC).
In Hartsburg’s mind, that process will need to start quickly. The Senators have just three days of practices before opening their pre-season against the New York Rangers on Saturday at Scotiabank Place (7 p.m., Rogers TV, Team 1200) – the first of five exhibition games in eight days. Hartsburg believes those games will go a long way toward paring down the 53 players now in camp to the roster that boards the plane Sept. 28 for the Senators’ season-opening trip to Sweden.

“Exhibition games will play a big part of it,” he said. “Those spots and those players fighting for those spots will get an opportunity in the exhibition games to show it.”

When the Senators arrived for training camp a year ago – fresh off an appearance in the Stanley Cup final – it was widely acknowledged that the roster was all but set. Not quite so this season, with a number of newcomers on board via trades and free agency, and several young talents eager to push hard for a place on this team.

“It’s much deeper,” said Senators general manager Bryan Murray. “It should be more competitive (in training camp). We always say, pretty much because of contract situations, that the team is already selected. But I think it’s more open this year than I’ve seen in awhile.”

Though they haven’t gone through their first on-ice session with Hartsburg, several Senators veterans know what the new coach has in mind. And they’re excited about the possibilities.

“We know what it’s going to be, and that’s a hard-working team that doesn’t back down from anything,” said centre Mike Fisher. “We’re going to be tough to play against and we want to compete every night. If we do that, we know we’ve got a lot of skill we can combine that with, so if we play an all-around solid game … that’s what we need to do to win.”

Added forward Dany Heatley: “I think the communication lines are going to be real good between (Hartsburg) and the players. We’re going to have an identity and a plan for the year. Everyone is going to know what’s expected from them for the year and you’ve got to do your job, whatever that may be.”

Hartsburg hopes to quickly instill the kind of “all for one” mentality that he believes is the biggest key to successful hockey.

“We’ve got some great players but now it’s about being a good team,” he said. “We want to be a team that plays with character and discipline and a relentless work ethic that plays together.
“The guys that Bryan has brought in, they’re known as character players. They play hard, they play for their team and sacrifice for the team, and I think that’s important.”


STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Wiercioch 6 2 2 0 4
M. Zibanejad 6 1 3 0 4
E. Karlsson 6 1 3 -2 4
M. Stone 6 0 4 0 4
M. Hoffman 6 1 2 -3 3
B. Ryan 6 2 0 1 2
C. MacArthur 6 2 0 -2 2
K. Turris 6 1 1 -2 2
C. Ceci 6 0 2 0 2
M. Michalek 6 1 0 -2 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 2 2 1 .972 0.97
A. Hammond 0 2 1 .914 3.44