PHILADELPHIA -- Shayne Gostisbehere is a healthy scratch.
That’s right. For the first time in his young career, the Calder Trophy runner-up from a year ago will be up in the press box watching his teammates battle the high-flying Winnipeg Jets.
In his place will likely come Andrew MacDonald, who Hakstol said is available tonight.
But why scratch Ghost?
“It’s accountability within our group,” said head coach Dave Hakstol. “It’s an opportunity for him to address some things within his game and an opportunity to watch the game from above which can help a young player. Beyond that, he’s got to work day to day and go do the work and get ready to play two days from now.”
The move can be seen as a wake-up call to Gostisbehere, who has admittedly had a few more defensive miscues this season than he’s accustomed to.
Although Hakstol countered that by saying “there’s no wake up call needed.”
Nonetheless, Gostisbehere wasn’t all that thrilled after the morning skate, but as he always does, he’s taking the optimistic view of it.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” Gostisbehere said. “But I think it’s the best for me right now. I’m going to get up there in that box and take everything in and make this into a positive.”
The blueliner leads all Philadelphia defenseman with 10 points on three goals and seven assists. This move has nothing to do with his offensive ability but rather an attempt to sit and watch the game from up above, focusing on the defensive scheme.
Still, the move is very surprising considering the speed and talent that Winnipeg possesses. Having a defenseman like Gostisbehere would certainly benefit in a game like this.
“There’s a lot I can clean up and that’s what I’m going to do,” Gostisbehere said.
The general belief is that Gostisbehere is a known commodity around the league, and that opposing teams are aware of what he does. Hakstol says that’s all part of the learning curve.
“He’s got to play his game. Part of being continually successful at this level is studying the game, that’s all part of growing and maturity. There’s no doubt it’s tougher the second time around.
“Ghost will be fine. He’s got all the abilities and the mentality to deal with those things.”