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Scott Stevens

Eaves = Doghouse?

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Hmm... This surprises me.

Patrick Eaves was a healthy scratch for the fourth consecutive game. Between missing games with a back injury and as a scratch, Eaves has played only nine games.“It's about winning a job,'' Babcock said. “It's real simple. It's pro hockey so you have to win a job.''

Eaves said he is completely healthy. He took part in the pregame warmups Wednesday in case Johan Franzen couldn't play.

All Eaves can do is be ready when he's called upon.

“Obviously, as a player you want to play. It's frustrating in that sense, but I'm going to be ready whenever they ask me to be ready,'' Eaves said. “Stay focused and when I'm put in I'll play my best.

“Even though it's not what I want, I'm getting better every day, I'm working hard and I'll be ready.''


Jeez. I mean, obviously we have to look at the full context of the quote but how did Eaves get to the point where Babs feels he needs to win a job all over again? Babs makes controversial decisions no doubt but you wouldn't think that Babs would ever regard Eaves in that manner based on the past two years.

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I don't understand why there's so much discussion on this. From day one Eaves has been among the bottom forwards. When we're healthy he's always competing with the other 10th-14th forwards for a spot. Pav, Hank, Mule, Flip, and Cleary aren't ever going to be healthy scratches. Bert probably wont either since he's big and has high-end experience and instincts (if not high-end skill anymore). Helm and Abby are young guys who figure prominently in the teams future plans, so it would take some very poor play to move either out of the lineup.

Thaat leaves Hudler, Homer, Miller, Emmy, Eaves, and Bruno (Mursak once he comes back) fighting for the last four spots.

Hudler, despite the obvious fact that Babs doesn't like his game that much, still has far more skill than any of the others. Homer is a great roleplayer with experience who meshes well with our top lines, and he's been playing well so far. With Flip and Abby playing wing, Emmy is by far our best option for 4th-line center. Miller has been playing exceptionally well for his role.

Add it all up and it leaves Patty at 13 on the depth chart. If there's any mystery, it's only why Miller hasn't bumped Abby off the 3rd line (which would then allow Eaves to rotate more evenly with Emmerton, or take his spot entirely).

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