Sabres' Girgensons blames himself for his benching

December 9, 2017
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Hazelwood, MO (WGR 550) - Zemgus Girgensons has been a healthy scratch for two games as Evan Rodrigues and Scott Wilson were brought in to replace him and Matt Moulson.

Girgensons doesn’t have a point since he scored a goal on October 14 in Los Angeles. That covers 19 games.

Phil Housley tried him on the wing and tried him at center, but nothing seemed to work. Girgensons said it’s on him, “It’s never fun to be out, but I wasn’t performing at my best, it wasn’t good enough, so sometimes you need a little kick in your back to get back that fire, that anger to want to be out there and do more for the team.”

The coaching staff has told Girgensons that he needs to be better. Phil Housley has liked what he’s seen in practice, “I thought this was one of his best practices in a long time, so we’ll make that decision tomorrow, but it’s good to see him with a little jump in his step and controlling the play in the small game area and he brought some good energy today.”

Ever since Girgensons was drafted, there never was much doubt about his work ethic and desire. Girgensons said that did slip some plus, he needs to produce, “I think it’s both, I can work harder too, but definitely the production isn’t good enough and the work ethic can be harder, I know that and everyone has seen from me that I can be better.

“I need to outcompete everyone, just play with more anger and more desperation to want to be out there and want to stay there.”

Overall Girgensons has one goal and two assists in 24 games. His career high came in his second season in the NHL when he scored 15 goals. Since then, Girgensons has had seasons of seven and seven.

With 19 games going by with zero points, Girgensons has let it get to him, “When those games start counting up, it definitely gets in your head and it gets harder and harder each game, so maybe this step back here for me sitting out will give me a little boost.”

Despite the debacle in Chicago, the Sabres can go home with five out of six points with a win over the Blues. Housley said, “We have an opportunity to take five out of six points against a really good opponent tomorrow and that’s the way we should look at it.

“If you look back and look at this road trip, it’s an opportunity for us to get better and improve and I think we’d really be happy with that.”

Rasmus Ristolainen and Zack Bogosian were given maintenance days, but Housley said both should be ready for Sunday’s game.

Nate Beaulieu is still not with the team. He’s been out sick since leaving the game last Saturday in Montreal.

Housley spent one season playing for the Blues. He said he wishes it hadn't been cut short, "I didn't play many games, I had back surgery, but it was terrific. The people here are great. I had an opportunity to play with Brett Hull, Brendan Shanahan to name a few."

 

Saturday’s Lines:

 

Kane  Eichel  Pominville

Pouliot  O’Reilly  Okposo

Wilson  Rodrigues  Reinhart

Nolan  Larsson  Fasching