Reigning Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau was parked for the final 17:22 of Florida’s 4-2 win over the Islanders on Tuesday, and acknowledged he saw the move coming.
“I understood why [head coach Peter Horachek] didn’t want me on the ice,” Huberdeau said, per the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “It’s a learning process.
“I’ve been digging a hole, being negative all the time. I just need to keep positive. It’s good that the team is winning.”
Huberdeau, goalless in his last 14 games, had a rough outing against New York, taking a pair of penalties and turning over a puck that led to Thomas Vanek’s third-period marker.
The 20-year-old center is suffering through a sophomore slump, and his production has fallen off considerably. He won the Calder on the strength of 31 points through the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign but, with just 17 points through 44 games this year, is on pace for 31 again this season — over an 82-game schedule, not 48.
Horachek said the only way Huberdeau was going to see more minutes was through added effort.
“[Huberdeau’s] time is earned, right now he’s going through a tough time,” he explained. “We’re asking him to work harder because he’s feeling the pressure of not scoring.”
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”