Tampa Bay Lightning's Ryan Shannon scratched again, but left wing keeps it in perspective
Give Ryan Shannon some credit. The Tampa Bay Lightning left wing was scratched for the second straight game Saturday and the third time in eight games this season, even though coach Guy Boucher reiterated Shannon played his best game of the season the last time he got in a game, Oct. 17 against the Panthers.
But Shannon was philosophical on Saturday, admitting that emotionally, sitting "(stinks)," but that he understands the circumstances that Tampa Bay has 14 forwards on the roster which means two have been scratched every game, he still is learning the Lightning's system and the team still has a few days in which to decide the fate of rookie and junior-eligible Brett Connolly.
"If you take ego out of it and look at it from their perspective, saying the coaches are management, they have to make decisions on things that are outside me as a player," Shannon said. "If I think about it as being a victim, yeah it (stinks), but that doesn’t get you anywhere; just work hard and try to get back in the lineup and be a regular and contribute every night."
"There are some players we need to see and there are experiments we’re not done with," Boucher said. "We’ve got to get through those experiments. I could have put him in today, but the last game we played the type of game we played all of last year and you don’t want to mess with that. That’s what he’s got to live with."
That said, "If he had been racking it up since the beginning of the year, then somebody else will have to sit," Boucher added. "But he’s like all the new guys trying to figure out how we do things. He's doing better every day, but you've got to look at the overall picture regarding some other players, and some other players have been more consistent."
Shannon, signed over the summer as a free agent, has three assists in five games while averaging 12:32 of ice time, said the time on the bench is not wasted.
"All I can do is go out and perform and execute," he said. "But, really, all I can control is the things I can do on the ice and how I prepare for practice and games. … I can use this time to really learn the details part of the game. It’s not wasted time at all."
Other stuff from the morning skate: No changes from Thursday's lineup, meaning Mathieu Garon is in net and forwards Shannon and Mattias Ritola are scratched. ... No need to get overly worked up about Garon playing two games straight, Boucher said. "That's what it is, let him breathe a little bit and get his game back," the coach said of Dwayne Roloson, whose 5.09 goals-against average is the league's second worst. "Every goalie needs that at one point or another, and it's perfect that he needs this at the beginning of the year. It's great for after." ... How big is tonight's test against the 5-1-0 Sabres? "I don't see any flaws out there," Boucher said. "They have a lot of smart, fast forwards that are used to playing together. It's a very complete game they play. They have an aggressive forecheck. It's very impressive to watch them play." ... The team announced the Tesla coils that are supposed to shoot "lightning" to celebrate goals will be in use for at least player introductions.