Flyers make Vinny Lecavalier scapegoat, healthy scratch for 1st time

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Flyers make Vinny Lecavalier scapegoat, healthy scratch for 1st time
Flyers make Vinny Lecavalier scapegoat, healthy scratch for 1st time

Vincent Lecavalier wasn’t happy being a fourth-liner for the Philadelphia Flyers this season. So they dropped him to the fifth line. 

Lecavalier will be a healthy scratch for the first time in his NHL career on Tuesday night as the Flyers visit the San Jose Sharks.

He missed two games in 2001 due to a contract holdout, but this is the first time he’ll be in the press box due to his efforts on the ice … or lack thereof, according to coach Craig Berube.

From Frank Seravalli of the Daily News, Berube claims this wasn’t about shocking the room with a high-profile scratch:

"That's not why he's sitting out - that's not the reason for it," Berube said when asked whether he intended to send a message. "I think it's a competitive thing with him. I just don't see enough of it out there. I've got to see more.

"Guys that are playing in the lineup need to find urgency quicker. That's their job. We definitely need to play with more urgency, and we need to play with more structure in our game."  

It’s a little hard to buy that Vinny wasn’t targeted for name recognition. Sure, his two goals and four assists in 16 games aren’t good; but they’re much, much better than R.J. Umberger’s one goal and two assists in 23 games. But he’s not been a scratch yet.  

Meanwhile, Lecavalier believes reducing his ice time to zero isn’t the way to get him going:

"I got off to a great start at the beginning of the year. I came back from injury and my minutes diminished every game after that. When you're down to, like last game, six or seven shifts, it's tough to get anything going. There were a couple games before that as well, playing 9 or 10 minutes.”

So you’ve got a player saying he needs more ice time to be effective and a coach saying that he hasn’t competed hard enough to earn that ice time.

And if the Flyers scratch defensive cure-all Andrew MacDonald for a second straight game, the team will have 13.7 percent of their overall cap space healthy scratched.  

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