If you managed to stay till the end of the brutal 6-2 loss the Buffalo Sabres suffered on Friday night you may have noticed a certain line didn’t get much ice time at the end of the game. In fact the top line with newly acquired Matt Moulson was benched from the 13 minute mark of the 2nd period and did not see the ice the rest of the game. Today Matt Moulson talked about being benched for the first time with the Buffalo Sabres.
“It’s the most embarrassed I’ve been in my career” ~ Matt Moulson
Well that certainly doesn’t sound good, please go on Moulson.
When asked if Moulson was told why he was benched he said he had no idea and that reports would have to ask Ron Rolston why he
didn’t see the ice for the final 26+ minutes in the tough 6-2 loss. For a player such as Moulson this is a tough welcome to the Buffalo Sabres and when you read the scene painted by John Vogl, it certainly seemed to throw him for a loop.
Benching players such as Cody Hodgson and Tyler Ennis who have at times been known to play lazy hockey and not produce is one thing and a good wake-up for those two, but to bench a guy like Moulson is a little different. Yes the line only generated one shot but Moulson is a player who never stops working and will battle no matter the score and has made a solid impact since joining the Sabres. Wouldn’t it have been better if Rolston simply found another line to put Moulson on? What about benching an equally as bad Drew Stafford?
A player like Moulson who has the ability to score a goal or provide a spark when the Sabres desperately needed one was sitting on the bench, without a simple explanation watching his team get destroyed. Moulson, a very respected and classy player is a pending free agent at the end of this season and will likely be traded by the deadline why embarrass him?
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the whole situation is Ron Rolston’s lack of communication with his players. Moulson says Rolston never spoke with him about being benched and he’s not the first player to say something about Rolston not communicating his message. Rolston is supposed to be a coach that teaches, you can’t teach without speaking and walking players through their mistakes yet Rolston doesn’t seem to be getting his message across clearly.
Will the benching serve as a wake up call for the top line or force Matt Moulson to check out of Buffalo?