Senators update: Methot a healthy scratch against Tampa

Ottawa Senators defenceman Marc Methot will remain out of the lineup Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning as coach Paul MacLean sticks with a winning lineup

TAMPA — Ottawa Senators defenceman Marc Methot will remain out of the lineup Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning as coach Paul MacLean sticks with a winning lineup.

Methot had been outspoken about his disappointment in being left out of the lineup for Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over the Washington Capitals, but he took a step back from those comments here Thursday morning, understanding that the team that was on the ice delivered a solid effort against Washington.

The Senators were originally worried that Methot, who was nursing a minor injury, could perhaps make the ailment worse by playing against the Capitals.

However, Methot has recovered, meaning he’s officially a healthy scratch against Tampa.

“I love playing here and I want to be part of this team, so obviously when it comes down to a situation like this, I’ve got to respect it,” Methot said. “The team played very well in Washington and whenever they need me to play, I will be ready.”

Fellow defenceman Joe Corvo and heayvweight Matt Kassian are the Senators’ other healthy scratches.

The issue for the Senators is that they have eight healthy defencemen and only six can play each game. MacLean says it isn’t the best of situations, but he also can’t not reward players such as Patrick Wiercioch and Eric Grbya. Wiercioch and Gryba have been in and out of the lineup, but both played well against the Capitals.

“Obviously, it’s tough,” said Methot, who began the year as Erik Karlsson’s defence partner and was a candidate for Canada’s Olympic team. “As a player, you are competitive and you don’t want to be told that you’re not good enough, or whatever it is, to not play. I obviously want to play, but the team played well and it’s not fair to any of the guys on the back end to take them out, if like I said, they all did their job in the last game.”

MacLean says Methot remains an important player on the team, but that no player is bigger than the whole unit.

“It is hard for him, but it’s hard for Patrick Wiercioch, too and for Joe Corvo and Eric Gryba,” said MacLean. “In the situation we’re in right now on our team. From the start of the year, we have eight defencemen and we have to try to find a way to use them all.

“Sometimes, minor injuries can get in the way. We wanted to make sure in the Washington game that we didn’t make things worse. Things haven’t gotten worse and (Methot) has improved, but when players go in the lineup and play well, I think it’s important that you reward them for playing well and continue to give them the opportunity. It’s really not about Marc or Patrick or Eric. It’s about the Ottawa Senators and what’s the right thing to give ourselves the best chance to win.”

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