Senator rookies get ready for bright lights of Madison Square Garden

NEW YORK – Madison Square Garden, “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” can be an intimidating building to play in, not just for its famously noisy fans, but because it’s such a part of the New York fabric, with all that that means.
For a number of Senators, they’ll not only be trying to manage the excitement of their first NHL playoff series, they’ll be trying to handle it in the pressure cooker of MSG.
It’s exciting, said Jared Cowen, but in the end it’s just another game.
“Everyone is is asking me about MSG, but once you’re out on the ice, a crowd’s a crowd,” he said.”
“It’s loud, maybe a little more exciting because it’s here, but we’ll see when the game starts.
“It’s just like another game atmosphere. The same thing happens here as anywhere else.”
Colin Greening says players get so wrapped up in the game that they actually forget where they’re playing. All that matters is the ice surface.
“I think after the first five minutes, I think you look around a little bit and you see the fans and you know where you are,” he said
“You get lost in the game, preoccupied with focusing on the game.
“A lot of times you do forget where you are and at the end of the game you might think, ‘Hey, that was pretty cool to play at MSG.’
“But I think through the game you lose sight of that because you’re focusing on how important, obviously, a playoff game is.”
Greening is one of six Senators – with Zack Smith, Bobby Butler, Erik Condra, Kaspars Daugavins, and Jim O’Brien – who won a Calder Cup last year.
It’s an experience that coach Paul MacLean believes will help them in this series.
“I know that it’s an American league experience, but that’s the next best league to the National Hockey League,” he said.
“They’re not brand new coming into the Stanley Cup playoffs. They’ve been through a playoff and won a championship.
“Although it’s new because it’s the Stanley Cup, it might be an easier adjustment for them, for want of a better word.”

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