Michael Del Zotto’s difficult season continued on Wednesday as he was made a healthy scratch for Nashville’s 2-0 loss in Vancouver.
Following the game, Preds head coach Barry Trotz was pretty straightforward as to why he banished Del Zotto to the press box.
“His game has slipped, and our coaching staff has talked to him about making solid decisions, solid plays and he has gotten away from that a little bit,” Trotz said, per The Tennessean. “We had some healthy people and we felt this would be a good time.”
The decision came just hours after Del Zotto played one of his worst games of the season in a 5-1 loss to Edmonton — he finished minus-3 in just over 15 minutes of ice time, and took a third-period interference penalty that essentially led to an Oilers goal (MDZ came out of the box just as Jordan Eberle scored to make it 4-1.)
Following the game, Trotz blasted the Preds for their inability to handle Edmonton’s forwards in the Nashville zone.
“They love to cycle, they love to move around, and we didn’t kill any cycles, we were mirroring people and we were light on the puck,” he said. “We had a lot of no-shows, guys that didn’t play to their capabilities, and that’s not good enough for us.”
While Trotz didn’t call out Del Zotto specifically, it’s telling that the ex-Rangers blueliner was parked the very next night.
Getting banished to the press box isn’t anything new for Del Zotto. Prior to getting dealt to Nashville, he was a frequent resident in New York head coach Alain Vigneault’s doghouse. Vigneault was highly critical of Del Zotto (see here and here) and made him a healthy scratch on a few occasions.