Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine is a healthy scratch versus the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, head coach Pascal Vincent announced.
“I know Patrik the person and I know (Laine) the player, if that makes sense. … I know his potential,” Vincent said, per NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman. “He’s not happy about the decision, don’t get me wrong. But right now, I think Patty needs to take a deep breath, go back to the working lab, and get his touches back, get his shot back, get his confidence back, so he can be the No. 29 Patrik Laine we all know he can be.
“It was a hard conversation, but nobody, not myself, nobody’s bigger than the Blue Jackets. … We need the best Patrik Laine as possible for us.”
Laine has mustered just two goals and one assist in nine games this campaign. He missed nine contests with an upper-body injury earlier this season.
Here are the Jackets’ projected lines without Laine in the mix:
Laine logged just 12:21 of ice time during Saturday’s defeat to the Washington Capitals, and he was benched late in Thursday’s loss to the Arizona Coyotes.
The Blue Jackets are currently riding an eight-game losing streak. Six of those contests have been decided by one goal.
“It’s every game, we’re right there,” a frustrated Vincent lamented Saturday. “We could be four, five games above .500 right now. It’s getting ridiculous. … We’re going to focus on the positive here, but it’s getting old. I’m repeating myself, but it’s getting pretty f—–g old right now.”
Laine, the second overall pick in 2016, eclipsed the 30-goal mark in each of the first three seasons of his NHL career, but he’s struggled since then. He chipped in with 22 goals and 52 points in 55 outings with the Blue Jackets last season.
The 25-year-old is currently in the second season of a four-year pact with an average annual value of $8.7 million.
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Published: 2023-11-19 21:43:20
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