According to the Post Dispatch, Strickland, and what random people have tweeted, Erik Johnson's slated to be benched tonight. He hasn't had a point in eight games and is a minus three in that stretch. Apocolyptic play, no? I mean, Alex Kovalev didn't score a goal for 16 games before he scored a hat trick - and is now goalless in 8 games. Why compare him to Johnson? Kovalev's a forward - a power forward - and he's allowed to play with no offensive abilities. His not being benched is evidence of too much tolerance of the vets on the Ottawa team by the coaching staff. If he were on the Blues, would this be allowed to stand with our coach? And why is a lesser transgression from a younger kid who is still learning benching material, especially when we have seen under-performing vets play apathetic hockey and not reap the consequences?
How are the youth supposed to learn accountability for their actions if they aren't shown that there are consequences for sloppy play that normal people consider part of a learning curve?
Sorry. That's the best I can do with that point. I can't even force myself to argue it, because it's absurd and my head's all foggy from sleeping until 10:30.
Can we apply the same standards to people, please?
Ok, stats here. Everyone's favorite punching bag (and I'm not picking on him, I'm just using him as an example) Eric Brewer, has yet to be benched this season, aside from injury. He has had a positive rating in exactly one game this season. He also has raked up 2 goals and 3 assists. Wow. You can argue that he's not expected to be the offensive power that EJ is, and you'd be right. But he's been underwhelming at least this season, and is a liability on the ice often. Total benched time: zip.
Weaver has three assists all season. He's also either one above or below zero in just about every game, or just at zero, so he's pulling his weight defensively.
Sydor, well... he has managed to get benched for the past few games. He's racked up a respectable 6 assists so far this season. He's also an overall +1 for the season, but recently he has been slow on the ice, and probably shouldn't be any higher than the 2nd pairing. 1st pairing with EJ works all right, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it's done more for the leadership and mentorship, and I'm sure that it's working. He's actually played just as well if not better than Weaver, though not as strongly as Polak and Cola (who is surprisingly a -2, but is an offensive presence).
I'm actually not 100% sure where this argument is going right now because I'm being distracted by 30 Rock, but there are people on this team's defense who have been more inconsistent than Johnson, and who have been playing in this league a lot longer than he has. Murray's gotten in right by giving Sydor a few games to rest up and hopefully improve his game, but sitting EJ isn't the right message to send. For a team that's watched Perron and Berglund regulated to the puppy mill that Murray runs, having EJ sent there is probably par for the course, but no one wants to play on a course where the par is 7 and there are hazards all over the place.