Beau Bennett will be a healthy scratch tonight against the Devils. Mark Arcobello will play in his place. This morning after the skate coach Mike Johnston had this to say.
Johnston, on scratching Bennett: "I just thought his last couple of games could be improved."— Dave Molinari (@MolinariPG) January 30, 2015
To that end, Johnston might have a point. Bennett has just 1 goal and no assists in his last 8 games, and since Evgeni Malkin has been out of the lineup, Bennett's been nearly invisible.
Still, scratching the talented Bennett - while playing guys like Arcobello, Andrew Ebbett, Craig Adams and Zach Sill is drawing the ire of Penguins fans, who are wondering why some players are held to a higher standard and others aren't removed from the lineup for bigger sins. Another brick in the wall for Johnston's recent decisions, which we outlined earlier.
Bennett does need to play better and using this as a teachable moment to prove the point that he needs to compete more is a good thing. It's a shame that the rag-tag 4th line players are still in the lineup, but they aren't comparable to a player like Bennett who the Penguins need more from.
Johnston should be consistent though. When does Brandon Sutter get scratched? He hasn't been playing very well either recently, but he also was named an alternate captain recently, so coaching/management may not share that opinion. However, if they are going to try and send a wake up call to Bennett, one for Sutter really shouldn't be that far behind unless he raises his game in a hurry.
Poll below open, let's take the temperature of the room to see if Pensburgh nation understands scratching Bennett, or doesn't see the wisdom of such a move.