Sens primed for Cup battle
|Senators head coach Bryan Murray is anxious for the start of the 2007 Stanley Cup final.|
by Todd Anderson
The Ottawa Senators leave for Anaheim this afternoon in preparation for Monday's opener of the Stanley Cup final against the Ducks. Despite being off for a full week after winning the Eastern Conference final over the Buffalo Sabres last Saturday, Sens head coach Bryan Murray is confident his team is ready to roll.
"I really feel good about them, and they definitely feel good about themselves as well," Murray says. "They're confident; they're skating real hard.
"We still have a couple of days to go but our guys are really sharp. With the scrimmage (Thursday) and the practice (Friday), I thought we moved the puck very well.
"The good thing about all of this, we've gone through the first three rounds and it's now the Stanley Cup final. The guys are as focussed as they can be on a daily basis. This is how teams get real good. You play late into the year and the guys have bought in. There is no individual stuff anymore. The guys are all about the team now."
Murray says that after a week of practising in Ottawa, a change of scenery could be good for the players. Having the extra days to get accustomed to the time change in Anaheim will also be beneficial.
"It's time to get going. It's time to get out of town. I really wished we could've started on the weekend. Unfortunately, it didn't happen that way. After you practise everyday, have your meetings and do all the talking, the players are done. They want to get going and playing."
Over the last seven days, the Sens coaching staff has spent hours studying the Ducks, whom the Senators have played only twice since 2002-03, with their last meeting ending in a 4-3 shootout win for Anaheim. The players have also been invited to make suggestions on formulating a game plan for the Cup final.
"We've asked our players to do some things differently because we'll have to play differently against Anaheim," Murray says. "We watched Detroit (Red Wings). They made adjustments (against the Ducks in the Western Conference final) but we'll have to do something different than that. I don't think they got enough scoring chances to win the series.
"We've involved our players in it. We've talked to them about it and asked them to come back with feedback and we'll act accordingly."