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From the coach: Sept. 27th, 2019

by Craig Medaglia @craigmedaglia / Ottawa Senators

Sens head coach D.J. Smith met with the media following the team's practice on Friday to pass a long some updates and insight before their pre-season finale in Montreal.

On his line-up against Montreal:

Anyone that's nicked up or that we think has played to their level, then we don't necessarily need to see them. There might be some guys that we're still looking at in our final game.


What their last pre-season game means for the "bubble players":

It's everything at this point. It's to prove that you can make the team. Montreal will probably have their top line or top line-up in there which is another great measuring stick. We're looking at a few people, there's still some juggling going on but I think that game will clear it up.


On making the final roster decisions before the regular season:

There are some guys that have played above what I expected of them coming into camp, there are some guys that maybe didn't play as good and some guys aren't here now that may be here later. It's a process, it's a long year but the decision we're going to make is who we're going to start with and we're pretty close to what we've got.

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On Logan Brown shifting to the wing:

The thing with Logan is that we've got 4 NHL centremen and he's trying to crack the line-up. He's going to be a centreman in this league and there have been plenty of centremen who have played the wing so it's not a bad thing. He played on the wing for a little bit in the last game just to see how he looks in that position.


An injury update on Vitaly Abramov:

He's cleared but we're not sure if he's going to be in. We're waiting to see which guys are nicked up or not and that will dictate. As of now, no but we'll see in the morning.


His impression on Scott Sabourin who earned himself a two-way NHL contract with the Sens on Friday:

I think he's been really good. He gets on the forecheck, he's hard to play against, he's better on the wall than I expected and he's certainly there looking out for our young guys. We've got a lot of them (young players) and he's done a really good job with that.


His thoughts on Erik Brannstrom's play of late:

I thought he started slow, even at the rookie tournament, but I feel he's gotten better and better as we've gone on…especially defensively. His strength is puck movement and his power play skills but away from the puck I feel he's getting better every game. Montreal's fast and they're a really good hockey team so it'll be a real good test for him to see if he can handle an NHL line-up.
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