Senators notebook: MacLean sends message

There was lots of yelling – some of it unprintable in a family newspaper – and lots of skating as Senators coach Paul MacLean sent a message at practice Wednesday.

Senators notebook: MacLean sends message
Matt Puempel. (Julie Oliver/OttawaCitizen)

There was lots of yelling – some of it unprintable in a family newspaper – and lots of skating as Senators coach Paul MacLean sent a message at practice Wednesday.

Officiating complaints aside, MacLean says the Senators did themselves in Tuesday, letting the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins off the hook by blowing a 3-1 second period lead, en route to a 4-3 defeat.

“We self-destructed,” said MacLean. ”We have a puck behind their net, with less than minute to go in the second period. We give up a goal. If we they go into the third period down 3-1, maybe it’s a different game.”

While MacLean says the Bruins didn’t do anything differently to come from behind, he praised them for their ability to stick to their plan throughout. It’s something he says the Senators must continue to work towards doing on a more consistent basis.

ALFREDSSON HAS ‘MY LEGS’: Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson says was still on a high from the All-Star weekend when he took the ice in Boston. And it showed. “Getting a few days off, not skating much helped,” he said. “I definitely felt like I fed off the energy. I still haven’t come down totally yet. It was fun to play (Tuesday). I felt like I had my legs. After a couple of days of reflecting, it was an unbelievable weekend. I don’t think I did it justice in describing it Sunday night. I would like to thank everyone who made this weekend possible and made me feel so good.”…After Sunday’s All-Star Game, Alfredsson said he was “50 per cent” sure he would return next season, but that the other 50 per cent belonged to his wife, Bibi. Asked if he had broached the subject, he said, “I have not. It has been busy, with a lot of friends around. She hasn’t brought it up. I don’t know if she even heard it. We’ll talk about it in the next couple of days, I believe.”

NEW LOOK TO TOP LINE?: Erik Condra took a spin on a top line with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek on Wednesday and MacLean says he’ll be back there at practice on Thursday. The spot was filled by Colin Greening, who scored the Senators first goal against Boston. “We’ll see how it goes in practice the next couple of days and make a decision before the game (Friday against the New York Islanders),” said MacLean. “Colin Greening is a big body, a good defensive conscience on that line and Condra also brings that. We’re looking to find a way to get some offence. We’re going to juggle it and see if we can get a spark.” Condra wasn’t getting too carried away with the assignment, saying his game shouldn’t change, but he was happy to find himself on a scoring line. “Every day, you come in, there’s a surprise,” he said. “It’s always different. You never know what’s going to happen.”

PHILLIPS MISSES PRACTICE, WINCHESTER LEAVES EARLY: After taking a shot in the leg against the Bruins, defenceman Chris Phillips was given a “maitenance” day by coach Paul MacLean on Wednesday and didn’t practice. He’s expected to return Thursday. Jesse Winchester, who hasn’t played since Dec. 20 due to a concussion, was on the ice early before practice, but left early. MacLean said it’s possible that defenceman Brian Lee, who has missed the past seven games due to a lower body injury, could be ready for weekend games against the Islanders (Friday) and the Toronto Maple Leafs (Saturday).

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