Following today's practice in New Jersey, Sens head coach D.J. Smith provided a few player updates as well as his thoughts on tomorrow's opponent in advance of facing the Devils on Wednesday night...
On the keys to tomorrow's game:
Get skating. Get above them. Play the way we've played all year.
On following-up yesterday's loss with a good practice today:
This is a process. We're not going to be great every night. As long as we work. I thought there were spurts where we did work, but we ran into a team that was hot and everything they touched went well. We're going to put our work boots on tomorrow and be ready to play.
Today's line shuffling at practice:
There are a few guys nicked up so we'll see how they go in the morning. Line combinations might be different but we'll see in the morning. Logan Brown isn't going to play.
On Rudolfs Balcers going to Belleville in the AHL:
He'll go down there and play. When he plays good, we'll look at bringing him back.
His thoughts on Erik Brannstrom's play of late:I think he's looked really good on the powerplay of late. It's a hard league. It's really hard to come into this league as a defenceman. I think he's getting valuable experience and he's going to be a good player for a long time for us. The guys are so big and so strong that you're battling men every night. It's a big difference between American League and Junior, there's men out here. And in time, he'll figure it out.
On the current defence pairings:
We've been very good defensively. It'd be a panic move after one game of giving up goals. We've played some games where we haven't given up many chances at all, and we've been very good defensively, in my opinion, until last night.
On any potential similarities between two younger teams in New Jersey and Ottawa:
I think the Devils a couple years ago, probably… Now they've got 2 or 3 first-overall picks in their line-up if you count Hall. They went out and spent some money on players. They're probably a couple years ahead of our development. In saying that, I like their team. I think they're fast and they play hard.
On Thomas Chabot's game:
A lot of pressure goes on him offensively when you don't score a lot. The biggest thing for me is what he does away from the puck. He's always going to have offensive numbers; it's his play away from the puck. He has a tough job. Every night he plays against the other team's top lines. He works hard and he's continuing to get better for me. It's a learning thing. You chalk the game up, you lose, and you move on. This league carries over day by day and if you carry losses with you, you're going to have a tough time. It's the same thing as wins; you win, it's a new game tomorrow. We move on and we look to get a win.
His thoughts on Coaches Corner:
I loved watching it as a kid. It's an unfortunate circumstance. Our guys paused yesterday for all of the people that gave their life and all of the people that continue to give us freedom.