Kukla's Korner

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The Benching Of Mika Zibanejad

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

We’d say the last time something like this happened was when John Tortorella benched Marian Gaborik in the third period of Game 5 of the Rangers’ 2012 conference finals against the Devils, except doing such a thing was pretty much standard operating procedure for the coach.

Hence, no shock value there.

This, though, on Thursday night in Newark was different. This was different with David Quinn, who for the first time in his three seasons behind the bench brought down the hammer on one of the Rangers’ marquee players by dramatically reducing Mika Zibanejad’s ice time in the first period before sitting him for the first 10:46 of the second.

Finally, after weeks of giving Zibanejad the benefit of the doubt he had earned not only down the stretch last season, but through the entirety of the center’s work under Quinn, the coach had seen enough, following another period in which The Swede was a cipher on the ice.

And so he sat him. Sat him after a team-wide desultory opening 20 minutes, in which the Devils only could build a 1-0 lead thanks to Igor Shesterkin’s exceptional play in nets, and sat him through the midpoint of the second, by which time the Blueshirts had tied it 1-1 on Chris Kreider’s power-play goal.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com