Eric Brewer and Adam Larsson have a few things in common — both are NHL defensemen, for example — but on Thursday, they learned they shared another similarity:
Both are healthy scratches for their club’s respective season-openers.
In New Jersey, Larsson’s getting parked against the Flyers as head coach Peter DeBoer opts to go with Marek Zidlicky, Andy Greene, Eric Gelinas, Bryce Salvador, Jon Merrill and rookie Damon Severson on defense.
“This is a tough time for me because I worked out hard in the summer and I thought I had a good training camp,” Larsson said, per NorthJersey.com. “So, this is probably the toughest healthy scratch I’ve been going through. But, you can’t really focus on it too much or let it get in your way or in your head.
“I’ll try to stay positive.”
Down in Tampa Bay, Brewer — who, at 35, is the oldest d-man on the Tampa Bay roster — was equally upset about being left out of the lineup for a date against the Panthers.
“It’s been a long time,” Brewer said, per the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s been a very long time. It’s their decision. I don’t like it.”
Unlike Larsson, who’s being scratched in favor of three youngsters in Gelinas, Merrill and Severson, Brewer was unable to crack a very deep and very experienced blueline for opening night. Bolts head coach Jon Cooper explained as much, saying the team’s defensive depth basically kept Brewer out of the mix — Tampa will go with Anton Stralman, Victor Hedman, Jason Garrison, Radko Gudas, Matt Carle and Andrej Sustr tonight, and Cooper acknowledged Brewer’s displeasure with the choices.
“If Eric Brewer has to sit for a game, I’m sure he doesn’t like it, and he’s pissed,” Cooper said. “I’m pissed to have to do it.”