Following today's skate at Canadian Tire Centre, Sens head coach D.J. Smith provides an update on injured defenceman Dylan DeMelo, talks hosting the Blue Jackets tomorrow afternoon and more...
An update on Dylan DeMelo:
He broke his finger. We're hopeful it'll only be 3 or 4 weeks; we think that's probably a fair timeline.
On what DeMelo has meant to the Sens this season:
He's probably the most underrated player on our team. I don't think a lot of people realize how stable he is back there and breaks up a lot of plays you just don't notice but it'll give a chance to someone else.
On Max Lajoie getting an opportunity with DeMelo injured:
For the time being he's going to get his opportunity and that's been the 'next man up' mentality we've had. If someone gets hurt, it's an opportunity to see another young guy.
On if the team plans to recall a defeceman from Belleville:
Not right now we haven't. We may after tonight's game for the road trip to be safe but we didn't for today.
On balancing development when replacing injured players:
Sometimes you have guys up that you regularly wouldn't have up because you'd like them to stay down longer but it is what it is. You run into enough injuries and guys get an opportunity. I think we've done a good job with a lot of our guys (in Belleville) and leaving them down there and letting them play but on the back end, we've run into a lot of injuries down there and up here so there's not a ton of depth there right now.
On facing the Blue Jackets tomorrow afternoon:
Well they work hard. Last night, I watched the game and there wasn't much either way. I didn't look for sure but I felt late in the game they had the better chances. Both goalies were real good too. I think you're going to see two really hard working teams here tomorrow.
On the upcoming Dad's Trip this weekend:
I think it's great. It provides energy. You get to this time of year and you're in that 30-50 game mark and you get an opportunity to implement some energy with the fathers being there for the next 3 games. I think it's always special to play in front of your family and t have them around to experience the NHL.
On wishing he had the chance to bring his dad on a trip when he was playing:
My dad would have loved it. I think they just live it every day. You're on the plane and see the day-to-day…I'll let the parents come in for the meetings and just be a part of the NHL for the day. I think a lot of these parents right from when these kids were young, mom and dad watched every single shift so to be behind the scenes for a weekend is great.
An update on Craig Anderson:
He skated yesterday. Pierre Groulx is working on him so I think it's the same timeline as last time…somewhere before 7 to 10 days you'll see him back. He's going to be on the trip since he lives in Florida and will get to see his kids but we don't expect him to play.
On his attempts to get some players going by shuffling lines and ice time:
I think we've had some success of late. We easily could have won that game the other night and it's not Nick Paul moving down. I feel Nick's one of these guys that whoever you play him with, is going to play better. He's so responsible that he can kind of get your line going. Nick Paul can be on the fourth line or first line…I'm going to use him in all situations. Penalty kill, power play, last minute. I think he's a real dependable player and I think you'll see me use him up and down the line-up all year.