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Guy Boucher Speaks: Power Play, Chabot, Defense Pairings

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Senators head coach Guy Boucher spent some time on TSN 1200’s In the Box to chat on game day.

NHL: Ottawa Senators Press Conference
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Senators head coach Guy Boucher did a relatively quick interview, for his reputation, on TSN 1200’s In the Box with Steve Lloyd and Todd White. You can find the full audio here.

On if he’s going to switch things up on a struggling power play:

“I’ve done this for 20 years now, and I know that when things don’t go well and I know when things are going well, and right now, it’s just a matter of finishing. We’re getting all the looks. We’re getting so many. We enter easily, we’re in the zone pretty much the whole time, and we’re getting some crazy looks and it’s just not going in. The danger, and I’ve seen and I’ve done it before, I’ve made that mistake, is changing things when things are right there and right on the cusp. It’s just the finishing part we’re missing. We definitely don’t want to change that. We’ll focus on a few details that are going to help us, mainly the screen. That has to be better. Some opportunities are B chances, and then the minute you put the screen there, they’re major A chances. That’s why you really have to watch out not to spread yourself and go in the wrong direction, when you’re really going in the right direction. We’re being very patient with that one.”

On overall special teams:

“As for penalty kill, we know the mistakes we’re making. But let’s not kid ourselves here. This team finished at the bottom of the league for power play last year, finished at the bottom of the league on the penalty kill. They finished in the bottom of the league in shots against, so we certainly weren’t dumb enough to think that we’re going to turn this 180 degrees with a few practices and a few games. Right now, we have something we want to do for all facets. We know our weaknesses. We know this whole process is going to take some time, but we’ve got to be patient with that.”

On drastically changing the forward lines on the road trip:

“Right now, what we’re trying to do, especially because we’re on the road is that we don’t have the last matchup. They’re going to matchup against us. The thing you don’t want to do is start jumping the boards all the time and disrupt your momentum and the flow of the game. They’re going to match us, so I want to make sure we have four lines that can be matched up against anybody. I’m trying to have at least one guy driving hard, pushing the pace, a guy that’s first on the puck and somebody that can control the play and another guy that’s going to be a hard-grinding, reliable guy on every line. So it gives us stability on all three lines. Will it work? We’ll see. I don’t wait very long when I see things don’t work; I change right away. Just like we did against Tampa in the second period and we got going. We were a lot better there. I’m an anti status quo guy. I hate comfort zones, I want guys who are ready and on edge and sometimes changing lines does that. And at the same time you figure out some lines, some chemistry you never would. Very often when you put the names on the board, it’s not necessarily what’s going to work on the ice. You try stuff, and sometimes it makes no sense theoretically, but then you get on the ice and it’s instant chemistry. My job is to get to know my players, get to know the pairs that work, get to know what guys are strong in what areas. We’re at the beginning of that process. You will see me try all kinds of different things.”

On getting Thomas Chabot some playing time:

“Last game Phaneuf and Ceci had a really good game. We know Methot and Karlsson do well together. The thing that we’re trying to develop is chemistry. Boro’s a young guy, Wideman hasn’t had a real chance yet and he’s getting it now and he’s progressing every day, shown some really good stuff. He was a dominant player in the American (Hockey) League. Right now, for us, it’s important to see what individually these guys can give us, but mainly what we’re finding out now is that Borowiecki and Wideman are a really good pair together. That’s why, right now, we’re not really able to put (Chabot) in the lineup. The reason’s very simple: I don’t want to impair the development of two guys that have been here the last two years that have gone through the grinding, and they finally get their chance, they’re looking good and they’re progressing. Now all of a sudden you take them out of the lineup just because you want to give somebody a chance? That’s not fair. What’s important is that we’re fair to the players and when guys don’t do well and there’s a deficiency, and there’s things you need to correct, well then you do. Now that’s why the kid has to wait. And if he waits to long, well then we’re going to have to make a decision, but right now, it can’t be to the detriment of other guys that are doing well.”