Following today's practice at Canadian Tire Centre, Sens head coach D.J. Smith met with the media to provide some player updates on Scott Sabourin, Bobby Ryan, Erik Brannstrom and more...
On telling Scott Sabourin he'll be sticking in Ottawa this season:
You have to feel happy for a guy that didn't have a contract this summer, even in the American Hockey League, and is now playing a regular role here in Ottawa. His teammates love him…he'll do anything for them and he's continuously working on his game. I think he's skating better, he gets on the forecheck and he'll do anything for his teammates every night. Whether it's 5 minutes, 8 minutes or 10 minutes, the guys love having him around.
Video: OTT 5 | SJS 2 - Victory
On moving forward with Bobby Ryan and being scratched against the Sharks:
I think he was good today. He skated hard and worked. He came here and he wants to get back and going. We've got a whole week of work ahead of us here and hopefully everything goes as planned and he gets his chance when he gets his chance and he's ready to go.
On Erik Brannstrom's deployment and development:
Part of that was we played 6 games in 12 nights and that's a ton for a young guy like that. In saying that and with a week off, I told Jack (Capuono) that he could empty the older guys out (on Sunday). There was no need to save anyone, we've got 6 days off between games and that's what he did. He went with some of the older guys and we found a way to win but you can't do that every night. You need all your bodies and part of his game is his development. 6 games in 12 nights is a lot of hockey for regular NHLers let alone a guy who's playing defence in his first year.
His thoughts on Brannstrom's play this season:
I'm happy that he's taking the time to learn the defensive side. A lot of nights he's playing, especially on the road, against opposing team's second lines. The offensive side is going to come in time with patience and poise. I had the opportunity to have Morgan Reilly for four years and to watch him have tough times with the same lines that Brannstrom's playing against except Morgan was 23 at the time. Brannstrom's a young kid playing against these lines and he will get better every time he plays.
On potentially getting Cody Goloubef or another defenceman into a game on this upcoming road trip:
Maybe on a back-to-back, we'll talk to the staff but that certainly could be something where we see Goloubef maybe get his first game on the back-to-back. (…) He's been one of our hardest working players every single day and he doesn't complain, he skates and does everything right so he deserves a shot at some point here.