Jan 21, 2014, 12:08 PM EDT
The numbers leading up to Rene Bourque‘s healthy scratch versus Toronto on Saturday were pretty ugly — zero goals, zero points in 13 straight games.
On Monday, Bourque addressed his slump and overall effort to date.
“Not good, obviously,” he said, per the Canadian Press. “It’s been a tough year.”
If it wasn’t for the struggles of fellow Habs forward Daniel Briere, Bourque might be public enemy No. 1 in Montreal this season. (Heck, might be anyway.) In the fourth of a six-year, $20 million deal, Bourque — a three-time 20-goal scorer — has just six tallies this season, none since scoring against New Jersey on Dec. 2.
Bourque missed seven games this year with an upper-body ailment, but Saturday’s absence was all about performance. Habs head coach Michel Therrien parked Bourque in favor of Finnish rookie Joonas Nattinen, who only played 1:45 in his NHL debut — and it appears Bourque received the message.
“Hopefully, it’s a wake-up call,” Bourque explained, “and I get back to playing my game and producing.”
It does look as though Bourque will return to the lineup on Wednesday in Pittsburgh. He took this morning’s line rushes with Briere and Brandon Prust on what appeared to be Montreal’s third unit.
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million 32
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ 44
- Gettin’ paid: Gardiner inks five-year, $20.25M extension with Leafs 15
- Report: Trottier to join Sabres’ coaching staff 18
- Blues sign former eighth overall pick Mueller 31
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center 45
- Eric Staal has surgery to repair ‘core muscle injury’ 6
- After not seeing ‘eye-to-eye’ with Carlyle, Reimer will compete for No. 1 gig 16
- Two down, one to go: Wings ink Tatar to three-year, $8.25M deal 12
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal 63
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (63)
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ (46)
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain (45)
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center (45)
- New Caps regime plans to keep Ovechkin at RW (for now) (42)