Skip to content

Avs to make O’Brien a healthy scratch — again

Jan 24, 2013, 10:36 AM EDT

Vancouver Canucks v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

Colorado coach Joe Sacco has told the Denver Post that defenseman Shane O’Brien would be a healthy scratch for the third consecutive game when the Avs take on Columbus Thursday night in Denver.

O’Brien, 29, hasn’t touched the ice this season, a strange development considering the Avs made him one of their biggest free-agent priorities this summer, inking O’Brien to a three-year, $6 million deal prior to him hitting the open market.

According to Mike Chambers of the Post, O’Brien “does not appear out of shape physically,” and is saying all the right things as he tries to get back in the lineup.

“Obviously, the coaching staff feels like I don’t give the team the best chance to win right now. It’s never fun,” O’Brien explained. “All you can do is continue to work hard, wait for your chance to get back in there, and when you do, you have to play well.”

Sacco has gone with the same six-man defensive rotation in both games this year: Erik Johnson, Ryan Wilson, Ryan O’Byrne, Jan Hejda, Greg Zanon and Tyson Barrie.

That’s left O’Brien in the press box with fellow defenseman Matt Hunwick — but, on Thursday, Hunwik will make his season debut against the Jackets.

Given O’Brien’s notorious party-boy reputation (see here), it’s easy to speculate why things have gone they way they have in Colorado.

But to say he’s reverted to his old ways might not be accurate — last November, he was profiled in a glowing Post article about his maturation into the “ultimate Avs teammate” that included the following from Sacco:

“He’s been a real nice addition to our lineup. He plays hard and plays within himself,” Sacco said. “Shane’s a little bit older now (28), a little bit wiser. I had a good talk with him at the start of the year, and he just wants to play hockey now. Every player at the start of their career probably does something they wish they could take back. I don’t even know all the stuff that happened there, but you hear stuff. He’s been great here, and I see no issues as far as that side.”

It’s a situation worth monitoring moving forward. After Thursday’s game, the Avs head out on a four-game road trip that includes a stop in O’Brien’s old stomping ground — Vancouver — on Jan. 30.

Latest Posts
  1. Niederreiter to replace Cooke on Wild’s shutdown line

    Apr 23, 2014, 3:22 PM EDT

    Colorado Avalanche v Minnesota Wild - Game Three Getty Images

    There he is with Patrick Bordeleau’s glove in his face.

  2. Blues lose Morrow for remainder of Chicago series

    Apr 23, 2014, 2:43 PM EDT

    BrendenMorrow2 Getty Images

    Physical battle starting to take its toll.

  3. Not for nothing, but the Avs haven’t scored on Kuemper yet

    Apr 23, 2014, 2:33 PM EDT

    Darcy Kuemper AP

    All the goals came against Ilya Bryzgalov, which is worth mentioning.

  4. NHL announces start times for Saturday’s playoff games

    Apr 23, 2014, 1:51 PM EDT

    StanleyCupPlayoffs14

    All games can be seen on either NBC, NBCSN or CNBC.

  5. Duck drama: Selanne to sit as healthy scratch in Game 4

    Apr 23, 2014, 1:26 PM EDT

    Teemu Selanne Getty Images

    First time he’s been scratched in the playoffs in 10 years.

  6. High-powered ‘Hawks, Pens look to cure power play woes

    Apr 23, 2014, 1:10 PM EDT

    Jonathan Toews #19 and Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks talk in a break from Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on April 21, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Blackhawks defeated the Coyotes 2-1 in overtime.
(April 20, 2012 - Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    Two of the NHL’s best offenses have struggled with the man advantage.

  7. Recchi on the Canucks: ‘When you lose that swagger, it’s tough’

    Apr 23, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    Washington Capitals v Boston Bruins Getty Images

    “That’s what made them successful because they believed in what they were doing.”

  8. The loss of Robidas is a ‘huge loss’ for the Ducks

    Apr 23, 2014, 11:53 AM EDT

    Vernon Fiddler, Stephane Robidas AP

    A “real steady force back there” must now be replaced.

  9. MacKinnon, Johnson and Palat named Calder Trophy finalists

    Apr 23, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT

    NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 25: Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on March 25, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Colorado forward is expected to take home the honors.

  10. Preds OK with Rinne (hip) playing at Worlds

    Apr 23, 2014, 11:16 AM EDT

    Goalie Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators looks on during a break in the action against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on March 30, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.
(March 29, 2013 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    “He didn’t get to play enough hockey this season, so he’s still eager to play.”

  11. Get your game notes: Blues at Blackhawks

    Apr 23, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT

    Ryan Miller, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane AP

    Chicago’s been tough to beat at home in the playoffs.

  12. Get your game notes: Penguins at Blue Jackets

    Apr 23, 2014, 10:58 AM EDT

    JacketsPenguins AP

    Can Columbus rebound from its Game 3 collapse?

  13. Sutter vows Kings ‘won’t go away quietly’

    Apr 23, 2014, 2:17 AM EDT

    Darryl Sutter AP

    They’ll be facing elimination on Thursday.

  14. Video: Gaborik scores highlight-reel goal

    Apr 23, 2014, 12:07 AM EDT

    MarianGaborik Getty Images

    Impressive, but just his first marker of the series.

Featured video

Chances Blue Jackets bounce back?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Backes (3092)
  2. T. Oshie (3074)
  3. M. Duchene (2708)
  4. B. Bishop (2411)
  5. S. Mason (2371)
  1. R. Getzlaf (2335)
  2. O. Palat (2260)
  3. H. Zetterberg (1913)
  4. N. MacKinnon (1851)
  5. R. Emery (1582)