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Aaron Volpatti and Wojtek Wolski are the other healthy-scratch forwards, but each player has been accustomed to that role lately. Adding Erat without subtracting another player meant someone used to playing would be sitting out.

“That’s very difficult for the player that sits,” forward Brooks Laich said. “But that’s where hockey has always been and always will be a team sport. Maybe it’s your time this time, maybe your time will come some other time, but you support the guys that play.”

Having 15 forwards on the active roster could serve as some type of motivation.

“Nobody likes to be sat out. That’s a fact,” Oates said. “But also it can make you take a step back and look at the game. And sometimes you need to do that to re-evaluate yourself and to re-evaluate where you belong.”