Chris Campoli couldn't hide his disappointment.
As the Senators wrapped up their skate yesterday at the HP Pavillion, the veteran defenceman was one of the last players off the ice, along with centre Peter Regin after learning coach Cory Clouston had decided to make Campoli a scratch for the first time since he arrived in Ottawa.
While Campoli readily admits he hadn't been playing up to his potential with one goal and six assists in the first 24 games of the season, he was caught off-guard when he was elected to sit by Clouston with Anton Volchenkov returning against the Sharks.
"I can take the positives out of it and all I can do is work hard to try to earn my way back in," said Campoli. "I don't have to like it, but I respect what the coach is saying. I'm going to work hard and, hopefully, earn my spot back in the lineup."
Clouston would only share with the media that he wasn't pleased with the way Campoli was playing.
"There's lots of reasons. He has to be better. It's not always necessarily what somebody does wrong, but right now he hasn't helped our power play as much as we need him to and he has to be more assertive 5-on-5. The big thing is the other guys don't deserve to come out," said Clouston.
Campoli said he hasn't played up to his capabilities.
"I feel like I've helped our team, but I've just got to continue to work hard in tough situations. If I play to my strengths, and show Cory that I'm ready to play, hopefully, I can get back in," he said.