Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/04/11 at 06:21 PM ET
from of Nicholas J. Cotsonika Yahoo Sports,
One of the first things MacLean did after landing the Sens job was call veteran center Jason Spezza. He asked him about the team. He made him feel important. He told him he was counting on him to set an example for the youngsters. Spezza is off to a strong start with 15 points, tied for fifth in the league in scoring.
As he set up the power play, MacLean asked veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar where he felt most comfortable. Right point or left? He asked him how he thought it should run. The Senators signed Gonchar to a three-year, $16.5 million contract last summer mainly to bolster their power play, and he struggled badly last season. He’s off to a decent start this season with nine assists.
MacLean also has leaned on captain Daniel Alfredsson, of course. When the Senators visited Detroit for their season opener Oct. 7, Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall talked to some Ottawa counterparts, fellow Swedes. He said they seemed “very happy.”
“What they talked about was, they weren’t used to a coach that listened to them in the way that (MacLean) does, just the way he does it, and they can talk about things,” Kronwall said. “They were very pleased so far.”
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