David Quinn knew he wanted to get veteran defenseman Marc Staal back into the lineup after sitting the 32-year-old alternate captain for three straight games, but the question the second-year coach was faced with was which defenseman would he take out to create an opening for Staal?
He settled on taking out Ryan Lindgren, the 21-year-old rookie who had been the one who bumped Staal out of the lineup in the first place.
“I don't feel great about sitting Lindgren – he's done some good things,’’ Quinn said. But I wanted to get ‘Staalsie’ back in. He deserves to get back in. And looking at the rest of the ‘D’ corps, I just felt that that was the move to make.’’
Lindgren had an assist and was a plus-3 in his three games in the lineup. He was one of only two players to have a plus rating (+1) in the 6-2 loss to Ottawa on Monday.
Lias Andersson, the 21-year-old, fourth line center, also came out of the lineup, replaced by veteran Greg McKegg who, like Staal, had been scratched the previous three games.
“I thought, you know, Lias had a little bit of drop in play the other night (against Ottawa), and he's a -year-old kid that's a good run here, and played some pretty good hockey,’’ Quinn said. “But it’s just the choice we made.’’
Zibanejad misses fourth straight game
Mika Zibanejad took part in the morning skate, but did so wearing a red (non-contact) jersey and ultimately missed his fourth straight game with an upper body injury. The 26-year-old center did not make the trip with the team after the game to Raleigh, N.C. for Thursday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
“He took another step forward today, so he's getting closer,’’ Quinn said of Zibanejad. “Just every day is a new answer to how he's feeling so I didn't really have a timetable set. And when he's healthy, he'll be ready to go.’’