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Troy Talks: November 2, 2021

November 2, 2021

It’s time for another edition of Troy Talks, as we check in with Belleville Senators Head Coach Troy Mann.

We recap last week’s games, run down the team’s lengthy injured list and get a preview of what’s to come this week.

How would you characterize last weekend? 

“Friday was a bit of a winnable game in my opinion. There were opportunities there, but because our offence is struggling, we’re not getting goals at key times throughout the game. I thought with a key goal or two, maybe we deserved a better fate. Saturday, I just felt from start to finish they were the better team. They looked faster and we couldn’t slow their skill down, so we deserved to lose that game. The week got off to such a great start, but there have been some inconsistencies in our play, in terms of not playing well without the puck and not winning one-on-one battles to give ourselves a chance. It was just an consistent week.”

Are you looking forward to the season’s first road trip as a bit of a chance to build some chemistry?

“I think it’s important when you have so many new faces and the turnover of the roster has been pretty significant from 2019-20 and even last year, with the COVID season. The guys had their Halloween party this past weekend, which I thought was good, for the team to get together. Now we go to the US for the first time as a group in 20 months and there will be some challenging games. Cleveland is very good, based on the two games we saw them at home and Rochester is off to a pretty good start as well. Rochester is built a little bit more like us, relying on their prospects to be the engine. It’ll be a good week but at the end of the day, we want to stay in the pack and try and put up as many wins as we can, so we can make a run at some point.”

Injury Update

 “The obvious one is Angus Crookshank, he’s pretty much done for the season. Rourke Chartier’s return is indefinite, he’s dealing with an upper body injury. Jonathan Aspirot hurt his knee last Friday night and is going to be six-to-eight weeks. Mitch Hoelscher got hit with a puck last Friday and hurt his knee, he’s out six-to-eight weeks. Colby Williams hurt his groin last Wednesday against Rochester, early in the second period, he’s looking like three-to-four weeks. Tyrell Goulbourne is indefinite and at last two weeks away. Philippe Daoust has actually been playing with an injured elbow that he reaggravated from Rookie Camp and Sens Main Camp. He went home to get his car and stuff since he’ll be with us all season, but he’s looking at a week or two to return. Then Lassi Thomson is listed as day-to-day and we’re hoping he can maybe get in one of the Cleveland games this weekend. He’ll come on the trip, but he’s the only one who is considered close. The good news is that Mads Sogaard and Roby Jarventie are both healthy again.” 

There have been several call-ups due to those injuries, but they’re all players you were able to see during training camp. How valuable was that in-person evaluation of them?

“We brought upwards of 12 PTOs (pro try outs) to get a look at and when our ECHL affiliate is in Atlanta and COVID making things difficult at the border, it definitely makes it a bit more difficult. But Cedric Pare and Rourke Chartier are still with us on PTOs, and we thought Matt Murphy looked real good in camp and the preseason games. We were hoping to get down to eight defenceman, but of course as soon as we do, we lose three of them. Alexis D’Aoust is close by, because he wanted to play close to home in Trois-Rivieres and he has some AHL experience, so we’re bringing him in for the week to give us some more depth.”

How do you attack the week given the roster shuffle and the road trip?

“Our goal on these three game weeks is always to get four of six points. I think that was one of the biggest disappointments from last week after getting the first two points out of the way. We were hoping to get the split against Toronto, because it’s very difficult to sweep teams and now it’s a big swing in our win/loss record. We’ve just got to go into Rochester tomorrow and focus on the first road game. Hopefully we can get back to playing well and some of the details that allowed us to get our two wins and play well against Cleveland in the 21 loss.”