Doug Weight dropped the dreaded “passengers” word after the Islanders’ 3-0 loss in Ottawa on Saturday, but he chose to make only one lineup change for Sunday night’s game, sitting Alan Quine in favor of Stephen Gionta.
“It’s probably a blunt statement, a little bit of an angry statement after we lose, but guys weren’t at their best,” Weight said before Sunday night’s 5-1 win over the Avalanche. “We talked to some guys, challenged some guys . . . I don’t think [Quine’s] last three were as good as the three before that. He’s been fine. Just a decision I made.”
Quine, who got to play in his hometown for the first time as an NHL player on Saturday, had no points in his last four games. Sunday was his first healthy scratch since Dec. 13. Gionta had been scratched in the previous seven games.
Weight said he also considered using defenseman Scott Mayfield, who sat for a sixth straight game.
With Quine out, all but John Tavares’ line had changes.
Cal, Hamonic remain out
Cal Clutterbuck skated Sunday but remained out with a lower-body injury, missing his fifth straight game and ninth in the last 13 with a couple of different ailments.
“Just one of those things that’s recurred a couple times, so we’ve got to be cautious with it,” Weight said. “He didn’t see the last one coming.”
Travis Hamonic still hasn’t resumed skating, but Weight said the defenseman — who has missed 16 games with a knee injury — is getting close to being back on the ice.
“Whether the word trauma is right, that pain and soreness he was having has really subsided so he can start getting aggressive,” Weight said. “But right now, nothing’s changed.”