"For the first time in his three seasons with the Capitals, veteran Mike Knuble will be a healthy scratch based on his performance and will watch tonights game against the Winnipeg Jets from the Verizon Center press box.
Its always hard to do, Coach Dale Hunter said, But you put [Jay] Beagle in [for] more speed. Mike hasnt scored in a while, figured get him up top and watch the game.
Knuble hasnt scored in the past 27 games a stretch that dates back to Dec. 5 and has seen his offensive production dip along with his ice time and role among the top six forwards. His last point was an assist on Jan. 13 against Tampa Bay, 11 games ago.
But the 39-year-old remains respected as one of the more vocal leaders in the Capitals dressing room, so it was a bit surprising to see Knuble taking part in the scratches skate with Washingtons assistant coaches, back-up goaltender Michal Neuvirth and John Erskine.
Hunter admitted Knubles stature as a leader makes the decision to sit him a tough one.
We know hes a team leader and you see he worked out hard out here [for the scratches skate]; thats what leaderships all about, Hunter said. Were just gonna add more team speed and hes the odd man out."