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Troy Talks: Responding to losses in Springfield, preparing for the Amerks and an injury update

February 1, 2023

The Belleville Sens play just two games this week, as they welcome the Rochester Americans to CAA Arena on Thursday and Saturday and coming off a disappointing weekend in Springfield, there’s lots of work to be done. We caught up with Head Coach Troy Mann to chat about his team’s response to the weekend losses, how they’re preparing for the Amerks and what things look like on the injury and roster front, after a couple of recent moves.

How has the week been going so far, coming off a tough weekend in Springfield?

“I think under the circumstances of how the week ended up transpiring, it’s been really good. We had a nice skills day and team meeting on Monday, and just discussed the weekend, then followed it up with two good practices. That’s all you can ask, for the execution in practices to be there and get ready for the next game.”

There’s been a lot of buzz around Mark Kastelic, Ridly Greig and Mads Søgaard being returned from Ottawa. How will that affect this team, and will we see any of them this weekend?

“We’ll see Søgaard for sure. He’ll be at the morning skate tomorrow and I still have to discuss with Goaltending Coach Justin Peters, but I anticipate him starting. Kastelic is actually nursing a minor upper body injury and isn’t quite ready, so he won’t be available until next week, but will join us for the trip in Cleveland and will play next Friday night. Ridly Greig will come down and get three practices in, then take part in the AHL All-Star Break. After that, the organization will reassess what the plan is for him.”


How would you assess Greig’s first handful of NHL games?

“I think it’s great for him. I don’t think he’s surprised our coaching staff with anything he’s accomplished through those four games. Obviously, they’ve put him in a good position to succeed in playing with, what I would call, two pretty good players at the NHL level. You certainly notice his speed and his hockey IQ and his ability to make plays, plus he’s sound defensively. The only concern we ever had was if he was physically ready to compete on a night-to-night basis in the National Hockey League, and for four games he’s done that. When they return to play, can he continue that over the longer term? That’s the only question mark. Everything else looks like he’s come as advertised and is ready for the NHL.”


What’s the latest on the injury front? Especially after Viktor Lodin blocked a shot on Friday and was on crutches.

“Viktor blocked that shot, to our surprise maybe and we weren’t sure on how bad it was until the x-ray and CT scan were done. Thankfully, they came back with nothing broken which was positive, and it was just a matter of pain tolerance. He’s been icing it and getting the swelling down, took the injured reserve skate and felt good, then looked normal in today’s practice. We’re anticipating him being back in the lineup tomorrow night, which is obviously a huge piece of our offence. Otherwise, our injuries are starting to improve. Antoine Bibeau is back and available, Matt Wedman is still week-to-week, Jayce Hawryluk is week-to-week and really now it’s just Cole Cassels that’s the big one. He’s going to see a hand specialist tomorrow, after he blocked a shot on Friday and played through it Saturday. He needs to see the specialist to see where he’s at, whether it’ll keep him out long-term or not, so we should know tomorrow. Other than that, we’re in pretty good shape.”


What’s the focus coming into a pair of games with division rival Rochester this week?

“We’ve got to win. We’ve got 30 games left and a lot of divisional play, especially coming up. We’ve got Laval three times, we’ve got Cleveland twice, Syracuse once and Rochester coming up twice this week. I think we’re going to have a real good idea by the end of February if we’re still going to be in the mix or not. I’m confident that with some bodies back and the guys being upbeat about what we can bring to the table, we can have a bit more sense of urgency. It starts tomorrow night and we’ll go from there.”