The heat-of-the-battle moment captured on TV showed Paul MacLean waving a sheet of paper while yelling into the ear of his best offensive player.

But never once did Jason Spezza consider telling his coach to shove it.

"It was more of a reminder that he'd like me to shoot the puck a little more than I do at times," Spezza said Friday, when asked how angry MacLean was with him as the during the one-sided bench conversation as the Senators played catchup with the Rangers during Game 4 of their best-of-seven with the Rangers. "At the time, he (said) he'd like me to hit the net a little more, that I was getting a little fine with my shots. I think he was right.

"I respect his opinion. Sometimes from up top you see things a little bit easier. It's an easier game from his position sometimes than it is from mine, so it's good to get a reminder sometimes. That just falls back to our relationship and being comfortable with him, and not having to worry about what he says to me and me not taking too personal, and learning from it."

Spezza did become a better all-around player, while still finishing fourth in league scoring, during MacLean's first season behind the Ottawa bench. But he still hasn't found mesh in the playoffs and — with the first- round playoff series tied at two games apiece while Daniel Alfredsson remains concussed and out of sight — it remains hard to believe they can complete the upset without a goal or two from their top centre.