Devils rookie Adam Larsson has had a rough go of it lately and tonight he’ll be watching the game from the press box.
Larsson will be a healthy scratch for New Jersey’s game against Chicago and as he tells it to Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice at this morning’s skate, it’s a move that surprises him but one he supports.
“I know I haven’t played my best game lately,” he said. “It’s tough, but I think it’s a smart decision by the coach to rest for a couple of games. I don’t know how long I’ll be out, but, hopefully, I will get back as soon as possible.”
Larsson also says that he may have come back too quickly from a back injury that sidelined him earlier this season. The Swedish rookie has just 18 points this season and just two goals. Taking his place in the lineup will be AHL call-up Peter Harrold. Larsson catching a break tonight comes at a tough time as Anton Volchenkov is still sidelined with a lower-body injury.
When the Boston Bruins took the ice tonight against the Winnipeg Jets tonight, they did so without the services of budding superstar Tyler Seguin. The absence isn’t because of an unreported injury—or any other health problem for that matter. No, according to Bruins’ GM Peter Chiarelli, Seguin was scratched for missing the team breakfast and meeting this morning.
Our apologies for anyone that was depending on 19 in their fantasy leagues tonight.
CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty talked to Chiarelli who explained that Seguin “didn’t take it well,” but understood that the team rules are there for a reason. The worrisome part for Bruins fans (and the organization) is that this isn’t the first time they’ve had attendance problems with the 19-year-old forward. Sometimes young players just need to be reminded that there are rules in place for each and every guy on the roster. Seguin certainly wouldn’t be the first young players that needed a reminder.
Seguin isn’t the first high profile player that has been sent to the press box as a healthy scratch this season. Alex Semin was a healthy scratch earlier this year because he came down with a horrible case of “the minor penalties.” Tomas Kaberle took a seat in the press box because of his poor play and Derick Brassard has been a healthy scratch multiple times this season for the Columbus Blue Jackets. You may have heard about that story from his agent.
Needless to say, the Bruins hope that they can get Seguin’s attention with tonight’s decision. It’s a young player learning a lesson how to be a professional. But if he misses another meeting or breakfast after today, then there’s a bigger problem to worry about in Boston.
Dale Hunter is finding that life coaching the Capitals can be tricky handling some of their stars. For example, Alexander Semin.
Stephen Whyno of The Washington Times reports that Semin wasn’t taking line rushes during this morning’s practice leading to speculation that he’ll be a healthy scratch for tonight’s game against Ottawa. When we said it’s a work in progress in Washington, we weren’t kidding.
If Semin is scratched tonight, it’ll be the second time in six games and a first under Hunter. Semin’s season has been less-than stellar this season as he leads the team in penalties while not contributing enough offensively to justify his mistakes. To call the start of his season ugly would be a disservice to ugly things.
The Caps need to get the best out of Semin because they’re a championship-caliber team when he’s on his game. Then again, the Caps have a lot of guys performing below lofty standards and Semin makes for an easy guy to send a message to with the number of penalties he takes and his other struggles.
Of course, the Caps have to hope that these messages are getting through to him because nothing else to this point has motivated him. The more things change in Washington, the more they stay the same.
After Tyler Myers looked like a lost dog on defense against the Bruins on Saturday night, coach Lindy Ruff is banishing him to the press box for tonight’s game against Montreal.
Myers being made a healthy scratch for the game tonight is a first in his career and after a very uninspiring game against the Bruins that saw him turn the puck over leading to goals and looking like he’s never defended a two-on-one before in his career. Myers, of course, signed a monster contract extension in the offseason to remain a fixture in Buffalo for the next seven seasons. To see a healthy scratch come this soon in his career is what Buffalo hopes is a small bump in the road to prevent future, long term nightmares.
Taking Myers’ spot in the lineup will be Mike Weber. Weber has played just one game this season going pointless with a -2 rating and seven penalty minutes. The Sabres need some toughness and defensive smarts tonight and they’ll at least get half of that in Weber. The key for Myers will be to see how he responds after this benching. Improvement or continued failure? We shall see.
When Mike Modano signed with Detroit in the offseason, it was clear that he wanted to continue his career and do so in front of his family and friends back home in Michigan. There was also the allure of playing in the playoffs and making another run at a Stanley Cup that appealed to Modano and you can’t blame him for that.
Modano might be feeling a bit down today, however, as the Wings kick off their series with Phoenix at Joe Louis Arena tonight and rather than helping the Wings try to win on the ice, he’ll be sitting in the press box watching the game as a healthy scratch.
Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press hears from Modano about being sat down and he’s understandably disappointed.
“It’s tough,” he said. “I just need to continue to do what I’m doing and you wait for the call, and then hopefully you take advantage of it.”
Instead of Modano playing, the Wings will roll with Darren Helm, Kris Draper, and Patrick Eaves on their fourth line against the Coyotes. The twist on this is that Modano made the claim before the playoffs that if Detroit was able to just reach the Stanley Cup final, he’d likely retire at the end of the playoffs.
While that might’ve worked to be an added motivation for some of his teammates, it did draw some odd attention to the team and perhaps amped up the pressure unduly for Detroit. The Wings will need to be tenacious in this series against Phoenix as the Coyotes will play it tough and defensively tight. Modano’s seen enough of those kinds of games from his days in Dallas while playing for Dave Tippett and having him out of the lineup tonight against Tippett’s Coyotes seems odd. There’s a reason Mike Babcock’s been to three Stanley Cup finals and won it all once, he’s smarter than we are. We just wonder what he’s got up his sleeve here.