The Sens have re-assigned defenceman Erik Brannstrom to Bellevile
- Erik Brannstrom took a seat Wednesday night as the Ottawa Senators wrapped up the Western Canada portion of this lengthy road trip.
- The rookie defenceman, who played only 12:37 against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night and finished minus-2 after a couple of mistakes, was a healthy scratch for only the second time this season, and the Senators were hopeful that watching in the press box as the club faced off against the Edmonton Oilers will help down the road.
- Belleville callup Max Lajoie was in the lineup in Brannstrom’s place as the Senators faced the difficult task of trying to shut down Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and the high-flying Oilers.
“This is the second time in a back-to-back we’ve taken (Brannstrom) out,” coach D.J. Smith told reporters before the game. “I think sometimes more mental than physical when you’re a young guy and there’s a lot of games on a lot of nights. Sometimes it’s better to just take a step back and watch the game to get back in there.”
- The Senators don’t want Brannstrom to lose his confidence, and if general manager Pierre Dorion could find another blueliner on the trade market then the 20-year-old would be a candidate to get sent down.
- That could happen in any case if his game continues to slip, but the Senators are monitoring him closely and Dorion will do what’s best for Brannstrom.
“(Tuesday) was a tough night with a couple of pucks picked off and they end up in your net. It’s a couple of bad breaks, but that’s the NHL,” said Smith. “It’s also part of development, but we knew that coming in with a lot of our guys. To a man, guys are learning the game, and you can’t learn it without being here and experiencing it firsthand.
“It will only make you a better player in the long run.”
Sources & Credits: OTT Senators, Bruce Garrioch, Postmedia News