After a series of staggering defeats, the Ottawa Senators assembled on the ice during practice in early 2014 for a meeting with their Jack Adams winning coach Paul MacLean. And, luckily for us, Ian Mendes was in the stands, recording with his phone.
Paul MacLean: Alright, guys, I think we’re ready to set our first Power Play unit. By the way, as a reminder, my name is Paul MacLean. Yes, the Paul MacLean. And I gotta tell you: fellas.. you have got what appears to be a dynamite Power Play!
Erik Karlsson: Coming from you, Paul, that means a lot.
Bobby Ryan: Yeah. I mean, you’re Paul MacLean!
Kyle Turris: This is incredible!
Jason Spezza: I can’t believe Paul MacLean digs our PP!
Paul MacLean: Easy, guys.. I put my pants on just like the rest of you — one leg at a time. Except, once my pants are on, I get Jack Adams awards. [ the team laughs ] Alright, here we go. "Fear… Don’t Fear the Power Play" — unit one. Roll it [ he skates to the bench ]
Erik Karlsson: Alright! One, two, three, four…
[ The first PP unit breaks into the offensive zone, Erik slap passes to Jason, Jason saucer passes to Bobby, and Chris Neil shoves some people and bangs on the ice with his stick. ]
Erik Karlsson: [ distracted by Neil being so much less skilled then everyone else on the ice ] Okay! Wait! Wait! Stop! [ the players stop ] Um, Paul, could you come over here for a minute, please?
Paul MacLean: [ skating over ] That… that was gonna be a great PP. Guys, what’s the deal?
Erik Karlsson: Uh, are you sure that was looking okay?
Paul MacLean: I’ll be honest.. fellas, it was looking great. But.. It could’ve used a little more Chris Neil. So.. let’s take it again.. and, Chris?
Chris Neil: Yeah?
Paul MacLean: Really explore the ice this time.
Chris Neil: You got it, Paul.
Paul MacLean: I mean, really.. explore the ice. I like what I’m seeing. roll it.
[ the players start moving the puck around again, as Neil skates all around the zone, gyrating, shoving everyone all over the place, continually banging his stick against the ice.]
Erik Karlsson: Okay, wait! Stop! Stop! Paul, I’m sorry, could you come back over here, please?
Paul MacLean: [ skating over ] Fellas.. now, we just wasted two good PPs! This last one was even better than the first!
Erik Karlsson: Well, it’s just that I find Chris Neil’s presence on the power play distracting! I don’t know, if I’m the only one, I’ll shut up.
Bobby Ryan: Nah, it was pretty rough.
Chris Neil: You know, I could take a shorter shift, if you’d like.
Paul MacLean: Not too much, though! I’m telling you, fellas — you’re gonna want that Chris Neil on the PP!
Chris Neil: You know what? It’s fine. Let’s just do the thing.
Paul MacLean: Okay, Roll it.
Erik Karlsson: One, two, three, four…
[ the play starts once more, with Neil banging his stick on the ice right in front of Erik until Karlsson pushes him, knocking away the puck and causing Turris to fall ]
Erik Karlsson: [ stopping the play again, fighting Neil ] COME ON, NEILER!!
Chris Neil: NO, YOU COME ON!!
Paul MacLean: [ quickly skating over again ] Guys, y’ know…that…that…it doesn’t work for me. I gotta have more Chris Neil!
Kyle Turris: [ grabs Neil’s shirt ] Don’t blow this for us, Neiler!
Jason Spezza: [ giggles ] Quit… quit being so selfish, Chris!
Chris Neil: Can I just say one thing?
Paul MacLean: Sure, baby! Just say it!
Chris Neil: I’m standing here, staring at Jack Adams award winner Paul MacLean!
Paul MacLean: The cock of the walk, baby!
Chris Neil: And if Paul MacLean wants more Chris Neil, we should probably give him more Chris Neil!
Paul MacLean: Say it, baby!
Chris Neil: And, Jason, you are right – I am being selfish. But the last time I checked, we don’t have a whole lot of plays that feature Chris Neil.
Paul MacLean: I gotta have more Chris Neil, baby!
Chris Neil: And I’d be doing myself a disservice — [begins to slightly laugh. Jason Spezza turns away and bites down on his hockey stick to keep from giggling] and every member of this team, if I didn’t perform the HELL out of this power play!
Paul MacLean: Guess what? I got a fever! And the only prescription.. is more Chris Neil!
Chris Neil: Thank you, Paul. But I think if… I think if I just leave… and maybe I’ll come back later, and we can lay down the 2nd PP. [ starts to leave the ice ]
Paul MacLean: Aw, come on, baby..
Erik Karlsson: Chris, wait! Why don’t you lay down that 1st PP right now. With us. Together.
[ long pause while Neil looks around at the team ]
Chris Neil: Do you mean that, Erik?
Erik Karlsson: Oh, yeah.
Bobby Ryan: He speaks for all of us.
Chris Neil: Thank you.
Paul MacLean: Babies.. before we’re done here.. y’all be wearing gold-plated diapers.
Kyle Turris: [ confused ] What does that mean?
Paul MacLean: Never question Paul MacLean! Trustache! [ exits back to bench ]
[ Neil picks up the discarded puck and high-fives Spezza before getting into position ]
Erik Karlsson: One, two, three, four…
[ the PP starts up again, Neil takes his place in front of the goalie. Close-up on Neil as he bangs his stick on the ice to freeze-frame ]
[ fade ]