As has been the case more often than not of late, center Derick Brassard is a healthy scratch tonight against the Flames. This was apparently the last straw for Brassard's agent, Allan Walsh. Walsh issued a statement blasting coach Scott Arniel, accusing the coach of burying players to mask his own lack of success. Head over to Puck Rakers for the full statement.
I'm not sure where I sit on the whole Brassard thing. I can't see the current top six (Nash, Carter, Prospal, Umberger, Letestu and Johansen) not playing on one of the top two lines. Brass is not a checker, so there goes playing with Vermette or Pahlsson. For a player who's improved every season since he joined the NHL, even if he was playing on the fourth line regularly I would consider it to be a waste. Having him in the pressbox is even more of a waste.
To muddle things even further, slick winger Kristian Huselius could be back in the lineup as soon as this weekend. Would Arniel take this opportunity to create three scoring lines? Nash, Carter and Prospal as the big unit. Huselius, Letestu and Johansen another line. A third scoring line of Umberger, Vermette and Brassard. That would leave Dorsett, Pahlsson, MacKenzie, Boll and Bass to fight over the three fourth line spots.
Anyway, back to the game.
It'll be an interesting tilt. With both teams blowing the big one on special teams, this game will come down to five-on-five play, and goaltending. Sanford is playing very well of late, and Kiprusoff is still an elite goaltender. It will be important for the Jackets to get ahead early. The Nash line will need to play as well as they did in a 4-1 victory against Calgary earlier this season.
Stay tuned after the game for my recap.