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Brandon Montour welcomes increased workload on Ducks’ depleted blue line

By in Press Enterprise on October 7, 2017

By Eric Stephens

ANAHEIM — Losing two top defensemen can be damaging to any team and the Ducks are simply not the same without Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen patrolling their blue line.

The two have been in daily skating drills before practice but they’re not at the point of dealing with contact as they work to complete their recovery from major shoulder surgeries. Their absence creates concern but that has been eased by the presence of a former lacrosse player.

Brandon Montour operated at a high level in that sport growing up but gave it up for hockey. The Ducks are reaping the benefits of that decision and they’re very comfortable with handing him plenty of responsibility on defense, particularly while Lindholm and Vatanen return to complete health.

Montour is eating it up. He was present throughout the Ducks’ 5-4 comeback win over Arizona on Thursday, making several defensive plays and picking off Clayton Keller’s errant pass into the neutral zone to start a counterattack that led to Ondrej Kase’s second-period goal.

The night’s total – One assist and a plus-3 rating over 20 minutes, 46 seconds of action.

“That’s what it’s all about,” Montour said Friday. “I have the confidence in myself to play like that. Continue to have them have trust in me and vice versa. It’s good. When they have confidence in me on the ice, it just makes me play that much better.”

It didn’t take long for Ducks coach Randy Carlyle to put his trust in Montour and it speaks to how well the 23-year-old played in his own end during an impressive NHL debut last season. Carlyle said that trust came about 10 games into his stay with the club after being called up from the minors.

“We felt that we could trust him in some of the situations and that he was […]    

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