Jordin Tootoo admitted his last few games might not have been up to par, and that's why he found himself a spectator.

Tootoo was a healthy scratch for the first time this season Wednesday as the Red Wings fell to the Flames, 5-2, at the Saddledome.

Coach Mike Babcock called it a "numbers thing," as the Wings had to scratch someone because Valtteri Filppula returned after being sidelined by a shoulder injury. That gave the Wings the option to put Filppula with Henrik Zetterberg and Damien Brunner, and move Johan Franzen to play with Pavel Datsyuk.

The Wings also came into the night on a two-game losing streak, which Tootoo figured played into the situation as well.

"We have a lot of guys coming back from injury, and I think when things aren't going the right way, or the way they're supposed to, sometimes change is good," he said. "I think sometimes change is good to fire a team up."

Tootoo stayed on the ice an hour after the 30-minute morning skate ended, even though the decision wasn't official until pregame warm-ups.

"For me," he said, "it's coming to the rink every day and preparing like I'm going to be in the lineup. Today is just another day for me that's it's a game day routine.