Brassard Returns To Practice After Chest Infection

The Penguins center was frustrated by missing five days of training camp

Shelby Cassesse
September 19, 2018 - 1:34 pm

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

CRANBERRY (93.7 The Fan) - After Derick Brassard spent the off-season making sure he completely recovered from a nagging lower-body injury, he got a chest infection that kept him out of the first five days of training camp.

"I worked all summer and the last couple weeks before training camp for the first day, and I get sick like that for four or five days," Brassard said after practice Wednesday. "I was a little frustrated, but it is what it is. I'm going to work hard and try to come back to game shape."

Wednesday's practice was Brassard's first of the season. He said his chest infection involved fever and shortness of breath, which he could still feel on the ice.

"It's just the lungs with what I had. I felt good out there, I just get tired a little quick. Tomorrow we have the day off. I think I'm going to try to reenergize as much as I can, and I'm probably going to play one of those games this weekend." 

The Penguins began preseason play Tuesday night with a 3-2 loss in Buffalo. After a Wednesday evening game in Detroit, they'll return home for Saturday and Sunday games against the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Red Wings. 

Brassard admitted at the end of last season his lower-body injury could have hindered his play. After he came to Pittsburgh in February, he played in 14 regular season games where he scored three goals and five assists for a total of eight points. The numbers only got worse in the playoffs. Through 12 playoff games, Brassard scored one goal and three assists for four points. 

Coming from a defensive-minded team like Ottawa, adjusting quickly to an offense-heavy team like Pittsburgh could have been tough for Brassard. Now that he'll have an entire off-season in Pittsburgh, he's looking to be more aggressive with the puck. 

"I think you can be a little bit more free offensively here and kind of express yourself. That's something sometimes last year I was more on my heels. I was just more passive in the offensive zone, and I think I'm going to try to have a different mindset this year to try to be more aggressive turning some pucks over and trying to play more in the offensive zone and kind of let myself loose out there."