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Erik Brannstrom will get his chance.
In fact, the 21-year-old Brannstrom is expected to return Thursday night in the second game of this rescheduled back-to-back series against the Oilers.
There has been no shortage of consternation amongst the fan base over the fact Brannstrom hasn’t been suiting up on a regular basis.
He was called up from the club’s AHL affiliate in Belleville on March 27 and hasn’t played since, but it doesn’t sound like the patience to play is about to pay off.
Coach D.J. Smith indicated in his pre-game press conference Wednesday morning that won’t go on much longer, especially with the deadline set for Monday at 3 p.m. ET.
“As we get by the deadline here he’ll play lots of games and lots of minutes down the stretch,” Smith said. “And, obviously you have to play well. You’re not just going to give games out to anyone, but we think he can do it and if he goes in and plays well then he’ll continue to play.”
Brannstrom hasn’t played in an NHL game since March 10 when he was minus-3 with 18 minutes of playing time against the Oilers. He still has to show he can play at this level on a consistent basis.
With the clocking ticking towards the deadline, it will be interesting to see just how busy general manager Pierre Dorion is because the Senators do have veterans that might be able provide depth for contenders. Decisions have to be made on the likes of veterans Braydon Coburn , Mike Reilly , Artem Anisimov and Ryan Dzingel.
Reilly will be interesting to watch because the club wouldn’t mind bringing him back next season while Coburn might be able to help a team looking for someone on the blueline.
We’ll see what happens with the veteran defencemen after the trade deadline but it does sound like Brannstrom will get his chance and it will be up to him to see what he can do with it.
OFF THE GLASS
Centre Logan Brown , another major discussion point, didn’t suit up Wednesday for Belleville on the road against the Manitoba Moose at Bell MTS Place. The No. 11 overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft accompanied the team on the road and there were reports he may be ready to return from a back injury. He has suited up for only five games this season with Belleville and has just one assist. The match against the Moose kicked off a series of four games in six days for Belleville before the club heads to Calgary to face the Stockton Heat, the AHL affiliate of the Flames … Winger Brady Tkachuk suited up for his 178th straight game. He has moved into 10th place ahead of Nick Foligno on the all-time consecutive games list. Winger Connor Brown has suited up for 357 consecutive games with the Senators and Leafs. That places him fifth among active players. .. Mikko Koskinen made a huge stop on Tim Stuetzle in the dying seconds of Wednesday’s game. Stuetzle has now gone 12 games without a goal and was minus-2.
THIS ‘N’ THAT
Sometimes you just have to shake your head at the officiating. Early in the second, everybody on the ice was involved in a bit of a free for all. It started with Clark Bishop taking an elbow in the throat, then got worse when Jesse Puljujarvi hit Dzingel from behind. Tkachuk didn’t like that one bit, as he normally wouldn’t, and went after Leon Draisaitl. From there, Edmonton”s Darnell Nurse jumped in. You’d think there’d have been a few calls after all of that, right? The result: A roughing call on Artem Zub and an Oilers power play. No kidding. “I thought we were going on the power play,” said coach Smith. “I have looked at it again but you can’t take penalties against these guys and if you do they burn you.: … An interference call on Zub in the first period also left a lot to be desired. Especially when it came just after Nurse could have been called for interference with Thomas Chabot. That resulted in the opening goal by Draisaitl.
THE LAST WORDS
Defenceman Erik Gudbranson , an Ottawa native, returned home after the club’s game Saturday in Montreal to be with his wife Sarah for the birth of their first child. The couple welcomed son Bennett William into the world Tuesday and he wasn’t scheduled to play because Gudbranson hadn’t been on the ice in two days. “He’s a happy father today so we’re going to talk to him. He’ll skate (Wednesday) and then we’ll make a decision,” said Smith. Congratulations to the Gudbranson family on the new addition … Centre Kyle Turris returned to the Edmonton lineup against the Senators. He has been scratched in 10 of the past 13 games. He hoped being back in familiar territory would help him have success. “It’s comfortable, it’s a spot I played a bunch of games and it feels like home,” said Turris. “I just have to play better. I’m trying to work in that direction of being more consistent and contributing by being a rounded, solid player.” … Centre Chris Tierney was on the ice for a shift that was 2:10 long on the winning goal by Connor McDavid in the third. That just can’t happen … Marcus Hogberg met with new goalie coach Zac Bierk on Tuesday and was on the ice with him Wednesday. Hogberg wished former goalie coach Pierre Groulx well. “The only thing I can say to Pierre is that I really appreciated working with him,” Hogberg said. “He’s a really good guy, a team guy, and I just wish him the best.”
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