Through the first fifteen games the team sports a 7-7-1 record and are sitting just outside the 8th and final playoff spot in the East. So how does one account for what has to be described as a surprising start for the Sens?
Speaking with a couple people close to the organization, they have indicated that Paul MacLean deserves a ton of credit for what he has done with this team in the early going. Every player in the lockeroom understands where they fit in and they know exactly what is expected of them. Communication from the coaching staff has a lot to do with that. From stars, to fourth line grinders, to call-ups like Nikita Filatov, players know where they fit in and know exactly what their role on the hockey team is.
MacLean can be intense when it’s required but I’ve been told that internally, players on the team have talked about how nice it is to have a coach that is positive. Obviously something that is important with such a young team. There was definitely an adjustment period under the new coach but it seems pretty clear that the addition of Paul MacLean has been a breath of fresh air for this organization.
With each head coaching hire, there always seem to be certain buzzwords used to describe the in-coming head coach. Accountability, hard-working, intensity and when MacLean was brought in, we heard a lot about his strength as a communicator. Granted it’s a relatively small sample size but so far, I have heard nothing but good things when it comes to his ability to communicate with the players in that locker room. The players respect him, plain and simple.
Obviously there are going to be challenges ahead, including a daunting six game road swing that starts later this week, but in the early going anyway, Paul MacLean has shown that he is up to the task.
- The Senators are on the ice for practice at 11:00 AM this morning ahead of their game against the New York Rangers tomorrow night. No Wojtek Wolski in that game as he recently underwent surgery and is expected to miss the next 4 weeks.
- With the Sens set to embark on a lengthy November road trip, the questions about a new scoreboard have again popped up around SBP. Spoke with a contact yesterday who told me it's a long shot for this month. Time is running out on the Sens if they hope to have something in place before the All Star game at the end of January.
- Some good news on the injury front yesterday as Daniel Alfredsson was back on the ice for the first time since suffering a concussion. Alfie has been symptom free for the past couple of days and will undergo further testing today to see how his recovery is going. Definitely a positive sign that he is back on his skates and symptom free so quickly.