The Calgary Flames had a come-from-behind win in tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators, and while the third period was a tonne of fun for a number of reasons, the Flames’ highest paid player was stapled to the bench and did not see a single shift.
This was the second time since last Wednesday that Huberdeau was benched in a key time, head coach Ryan Huska has clearly not been afraid thus far to send a message to the highest paid Flame in franchise history.
Another disappointing night for Huberdeau
It was another frustrating night for Jonathan Huberdeau and all Flames fans alike. Huberdeau was unable to get anything going offensively and was absolutely abysmal on the power play with what it felt like hundreds of turnovers. Huberdeau played 14:42 before not seeing any ice in the third. While A.J. Greer and Walker Deuhr also didn’t see any ice in the final period either, Huberdeau not seeing a second of ice is of course, much more notable.
Huska went with the young energy in the third, Adam Ruzicka was promoted to the top line with Elias Lindholm and Dillon Dube, and Connor Zary (who has been an absolute force) and Martin Pospisil saw regular shifts with their linemates throughout the third period.
Of course, those two rookies didn’t directly lead the Flames to the win, but their tenacity and energy was certainly a factor in the Flames coming back, something we didn’t see Huberdeau do at all.
Is there a healthy scratch for Huberdeau on the horizon?
With a few days off until the Flames’ next game in Toronto on Friday, the rookies playing as well as they have been, and Andrew Mangiapane set to return from his one-game suspension, will we see Huska send Huberdeau to the press box for their next game? Only time will tell and it will certainly be a topic of conversation as the days pass.
It was tough to see Huberdeau sitting there in the third—and he looked devastated, with his head held low—but he has not performed, and at some point, Huberdeau will need to snap out of whatever this is and get back to being the player he can be. Hopefully, Huska can send a message to get Huberdeau going sooner rather than later.
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