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Training camp shifts into high gear as Ottawa senators hit the ice

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Thursday marked the dawn of a new era for the Ottawa Senators.

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Under the close watch of general manager Pierre Dorion, coach DJ Smith and the rest of the Canadian Tire Center’s hockey operations staff, the club’s training camp welcomed new members to various locations as the Senators made their first spins. , shifted to high gear.

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We were divided into three groups, Team Alfredson, Team Phillips, and Team Neil, and went at our own pace. This includes scrimmages for Phillips and Neal to help the Senators determine everyone’s suitability when the season begins on October 13 against Buffalo against his Sabers.

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The atmosphere is different here as this team is ready to turn a corner after the Senators added forwards Alex Devlincat, Claude Giroud, Tyler Mott and goaltender Cam Talbot in the offseason. increase.

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“The guys are excited to try and prove themselves,” said veteran defenseman Nick Holden. “We are starting to win consistently and want to show people that we take business around Ottawa seriously.”

Led by captain Brady Tkachuk, alternate Thomas Chabot, centers Josh Norris, Tim Statzl and Drake Batherson, the core of this team is that with the right talent, they can take their game to the next level. I would like to show people the

“Some of the young players that have signed over the last few years are trying to take a little more leadership and have a voice in the room,” Holden said. “And with older guys with voices joining in, it’s going to be a good mix to work with each other. It’ll be exciting to see where we go.”

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“It’s still early, but everyone is excited. They’re excited to try and prove themselves.”

As a bonus, Stutzle got off to a great start to the day as he scored a pass from Giroux just 43 seconds into the scrimmage to give Team Phillips a 1-0 lead. Familiarity helps build chemistry with this group. It is most important to trim it before the season.

Really, all the talk about offseason changes is behind the Senators. Now the plan must be put into action. The players watched with big smiles on their faces as Dorion made some drastic changes to their roster in the offseason. Now is the time for change to bear fruit.

“It was fun. It was nice to be back there and skate again,” said Tkachuk. “We were just talking and we are all excited to start camp and be in the game soon. We focus on making it possible.

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“That way, when the season comes, it will fire on all cylinders.”

The message from Smith and the coaching staff was to make sure players were using the preseason to prepare for a strong start. I do not want this to be repeated.

Teammates (left to right) Tyler Mott, Thomas Chabot and Mats Sogard hold their breath during an on-ice session at Training Camp at the Canadian Tire Center on September 22, 2022.
Teammates (left to right) Tyler Mott, Thomas Chabot and Mats Sogard hold their breath during an on-ice session at Training Camp at the Canadian Tire Center on September 22, 2022. Photo by Errol McGihon /post media

“It’s all about getting the game up and running as quickly as possible,” says Tkachuk.

The biggest decisions in this camp are made on defense. The club has seven blueliners for him on a one-way deal. Thursday’s top four was him stable with Chabot Artem Zub, and veteran he Travis Hamonic alongside valuable prospect Jake Sanderson.

Holden skated with Nikita Zaitsev and Eric Brunstrom with Jacob Bernard-Docker. During camp, Smith is sure to mix and match his duo.

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“Every position needs competition because it pushes players to do their best,” Holden said. “They know someone can step in if they’re not doing their best.”

Smith repeated the same words Dorion used before camp started, stating that “the best six-man defense will play.”

The reality is, there aren’t many jobs open here. With restricted free agent winger Alex Formenton unsigned, there is a spot on the left side of the third row, and the fourth row is also in a battle to decide who will skate.

A decision won’t be made anytime soon, but I’m glad we were able to get this out of the way.

“There are so many expectations and players want to get back to their normal routines,” Smith said. “On the first day, some of the players were nervous.

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“It’s nice to start over, but you don’t win or lose on day one.”

I don’t have much time to prepare here. The Senator will skate in Ottawa on Friday before the 46 players and staff head to Toronto to play his game on Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. increase.

“It seems like a long time, but when you cut back on scrimmage, you might only have one or six real practices with your team,” Smith said. “It seems like a long time, but snap your fingers and you’ll be in Buffalo.”

bgarrioch@postmedia.com

Twitter: @sungarrioch

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Training camp shifts into high gear as Ottawa senators hit the ice

Source link Training camp shifts into high gear as Ottawa senators hit the ice

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