Prior to tonight’s game against Tampa Bay, Sens head coach Paul MacLean confirmed his lineup would be the same one that defeated Washington on Tuesday — a lineup that didn’t feature defenseman Marc Methot.
That means Methot will sit for the second straight game and, as he sees it, he’s sitting as a healthy scratch.
“Obviously it’s tough,” he said, per the Ottawa Sun. “As a player you’re competitive and you don’t want to be told you’re not good enough to play or whatever it is.”
According to MacLean, the 28-year-old rearguard was parked on Tuesday because of an injury suffered in practice. But Methot disagreed, saying he “felt really good,” adding the injury wasn’t serious enough to sideline him.
“I was a little caught off,” Methot said following the Washington game. “It’s their decision and I have to deal with it.”
Today, both parties essentially acknowledged Methot is now a healthy scratch, leaving things wide open for the media:
I’m shocked that Marc Methot is being held out of Ottawa’s lineup again. MacLean doesn’t mind showing who’s boss. #senators
— Wayne Scanlan (@HockeyScanner) January 23, 2014
I think Methot is scratched tonight because he didn’t toe the company line with the media over Tuesday’s scratch. Just breaking the horses.
— Steve Warne (@TSNSteve) January 23, 2014
According to the Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, MacLean said he simply didn’t want to change a winning lineup and Methot said he understands the decision — all fine and well, but that won’t quash the unease coming out of Ottawa.
Methot was a vital contributor during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, scoring 11 points in 47 games while averaging 22:14 TOI per night. His steadying presence in the absence of Erik Karlsson (sliced Achilles) earned him high praise, enough to warrant an invite to Team Canada’s Olympic orientation camp this summer.
Yet in a manner of months, his stock has fallen dramatically. This marks the second time Methot’s been a healthy scratch this season.