The Columbus Blue Jackets are giving Ryan Johansen some tough love.
Johansen, the club’s first-round pick (fourth overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, was made a healthy scratch for Game 4 of AHL Springfield’s second-round sweep at the hands of Syracuse.
What’s more, Springfield’s coach said that Blue Jackets management was on board with the decision.
“They were here; they saw it,” Brad Larsen told the Columbus Dispatch about Johansen’s benching. [Blue Jackets coach] Todd Richards was here [Blue Jackets GM] Jarmo Kekalainen was here. [Blue Jackets assistant GM] Chris MacFarland was here. They saw it. They recognized it.
“Accountability is going up in Columbus. It’s all about performance and what you’re doing to help your teammates. It’s that way down here, too. Has to be.”
Johansen had just one assist and went an ugly minus-8 in the first three games of the series.
It’s not the first time he’s received this sort of “punishment” from the organization — in early February, he was demoted to Springfield after Richards said his game went downhill — but it is a tad surprising to see it happen now.
Johansen is only 20 years old and seemed to respond to the February demotion, finishing the year with 12 points.
He also scored a crucial game-winning goal in a 4-3 win over San Jose in Columbus’ third-last game of the year, a huge victory to keep the BJs in playoff contention.
The St. Louis Blues will look to improve their cushion in the Western Conference playoff race when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.
You can catch the game on NBCSN (7:30 p.m. ET) or online with the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
NHL On NBCSN: Blues look to slow down Blackhawks
Blues extend Berglund — five years, $19.25 million
Blackhawks’ Hjalmarsson ‘day-to-day,’ will not play on Sunday
The L.A. Kings have reportedly acquired goalie Ben Bishop from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
That is according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie and TSN on Sunday.
The news comes one day after Jonathan Quick returned to the Kings crease after a 59-game absence due to a groin injury and was solid in a winning effort versus the Anaheim Ducks.
The Kings are three points out of the final wild card spot in the West.
More to come.
Connor McDavid once again had that blazing speed of his on display. The latest victims? The Nashville Predators on Sunday.
The sophomore star scored his 21st goal of the season and league-leading 70th point thanks to a beautiful individual effort, putting his Oilers back into a tie game at the time.
McDavid picked up the puck just outside his blue line, accelerated to beat Roman Josi in the neutral zone, beat Ryan Ellis with a move and immediately snapped his shot home for the goal.
There was good news and bad news for the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, as the club deals with an outbreak of the mumps.
First, the bad news: Head coach Willie Desjardins confirmed that forward Anton Rodin, defenseman Ben Hutton and trainer Brian Hamilton are now experiencing symptoms of the mumps.
Initially, five players — Troy Stecher, Chris Tanev, Nikita Tryamkin, Mike Chaput and Markus Granlund — had been affected.
The good news? Stecher, who had the first confirmed case of the mumps, was back on the ice Sunday for an optional practice, per the Canucks.
The Canucks, nine points out of a playoff spot in the West, host the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.
The following day is the trade deadline, and the Canucks could be busy, with at least three players — Alex Burrows, Jannik Hansen and Ryan Miller — all mentioned as possible targets for other teams.
Speaking to TSN 1040 radio on Friday, GM Jim Benning didn’t believe the mumps outbreak would impact his plans leading up to the deadline.