Coming off a disastrous 7-2 loss to the Rangers in New York, Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau appears to be sending a message to one of his most important players.
U.S. Olympic defenseman Cam Fowler, who averages over 21 minutes a night and has 31 points in 73 games this year, looks as though he’ll be a healthy scratch tonight when the Ducks take on the Blue Jackets in Columbus, per the O.C. Register.
So what’s going on here?
Well, it’s clear the aforementioned Rangers loss irked Boudreau — “we looked more like No. 30 than we did No. 1,” he said — and Fowler had a rough night, on the ice for three of New York’s six even-strength goals. That said, he was getting regular shifts throughout the game and played more in the third period (7:03) than the first and second.
Boudreau also has defensemen at his disposal and enough healthy bodies to do some lineup tinkering. Simon Despres and Korbinian Holzer were scratched for Sunday’s game at MSG — it looks like Despres will draw back in tonight — and the club could always call on rookie d-man Josh Manson, who’s currently with AHL Norfolk but has looked good at times this season.
Regardless, it’ll be interesting to see how this move affects Fowler moving forward. Still only just 23 years old, Fowler — the club’s first-round pick (12th overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft — is considered to be one of the cornerstones of Anaheim’s defense and was a huge figure last year, leading the team in average time on ice per game (at 23:52.)