It’s been a tumultuous season in Brooklyn, and things aren’t getting any easier.
On Monday, Ryan Strome — the fifth overall pick in 2011 — was a healthy scratch for the second straight game, as the Isles beat the Flames in OT.
And Strome wasn’t happy about it.
“Right now, I’m the odd man out,” Strome said, per Newsday. “I don’t really have any answers.”
Strome was right about one thing. He didn’t really have any answers.
When asked about his relationship with head coach Jack Capuano?
“I think [it’s good], I don’t know,” Strome said. “Maybe ask him.”
When asked what he needs to do differently?
“I’ve either got to play better or find a way to make them more happy, I guess,” Strome said.
When drafted out of OHL Niagara, Strome was pegged to become the club’s No. 2 center of the future, creating a dynamic punch behind John Tavares for one of the best combos in the league. But it hasn’t come to fruition.
Things looked to be on track following the ’14-15 campaign, in which Strome scored 17 goals and 50 points in 81 games. He followed that up with four points in seven playoff contests, and all looked good.
Then last year happened.
A stretch of ineffective play saw him demoted to AHL Bridgeport and, once recalled, he struggled to rediscover his ’14-15 form. He was called out by Capuano in early April and, come playoff time, was parked in the press box as a healthy scratch on occasion.
This year, Strome has two goals and four assists in 19 games — but just one in the 12 games that preceded his run of healthy scratches.
As mentioned above, this isn’t the only issue facing the Isles this season. The team has woefully under-performed, free agent signings Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera have disappointed, there have been calls for Capuano’s job and the club’s maligned three-goalie setup has come under criticism.