Jeff Skinner was skating with extras like Tage Thompson and Rasmus Asplund sunday afternoon meaning he is trending towards being a healthy scratch.
It’s not every day you see a $9,000,000 winger being healthy scratched. However it is a decision coach Ralph Krueger appears to be making ahead of the Buffalo Sabres match up with the New York Islanders Monday Night.
Here is what Sabres coach Ralph Krueger had to say about it:
“You saw a potential change in the mix today,” Krueger said on a Zoom call Sunday. “We won’t confirm it until tomorrow. But it’s how we function here, we look honestly at production, we look honestly at the inputs in and around the team game that we need and try to put that mix into place that gives us a chance.”
It’s no question Skinner has struggled to start he year but you have to think it’s not all on the player. Constantly putting your elite scoring winger on the fourth line every night with players that simply can not get him the puck does not seem like the best recipe for success and yet it’s a decision Sabres coaching staff continue to make.
Skinner is only two seasons removed from his 40 goal campaign that earned him his massive contract while playing alongside Jack Eichel, the two have since rarely played together.
When asked about being a potential scratch Monday night Skinner had this to say:
“This is my 11th year, I don’t … think I’ve ever really felt I need a day off to relook at things. I think I’ve seen a lot in this league, run through adversity before in my career. You just work, keep working and put you’re head down. That’s what I’ll do.”
Skinner is a goal scorer that needs to play with elite playmakers, it will be interesting to see how long it takes the Sabres coaching staff to realize that. But in the direction the team and their $9,000,000 winger are heading it doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon.
Quotes courtesy of buffalohockeybeat.com
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