Whether coaches admit to it or not, they send messages to their players. And Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau clearly issued one to Luca Sbisa, who sat in the press box Monday night.
Boudreau has seven quality NHL defensemen to choose from so he took the opportunity to scratch a healthy Sbisa for the Ducks' 5-2 loss to the Kings. It was the first time Sbisa was scratched since 2010, his first season in Anaheim.
The two talked Tuesday about where Boudreau wants Sbisa to be going forward. The 24-year-old blue-liner was back in the lineup Wednesday night against Nashville.
"I just think he's too good a player to be playing average," Boudreau said. "And we want him to raise his bar. Not raise the bar of OK the level there is good. But I think his level should be up here and not be satisfied with anything else."
As expected, Sbisa stewed as he sat high up in Staples Center.
The issue has been consistency and it was something he acknowledged.
"Obviously I wasn't happy because you shouldn't be happy when you're out of the lineup," Sbisa said. "I thought I wasn't good in Detroit and Nashville. I thought I played a good game against Columbus. Against Colorado, I had an off period and two good ones.
"He just told me, 'You know, you're usually a pretty consistent player. The past few games, you've had a few ups and downs. We have just so many good (defensemen) now that we have the possibility of taking guys in and out.
"A lot of guys will have to sit out throughout the season."
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Message received, Ducks defenseman Sbisa says
Orange County Register | Feb 28