Guillaume Latendresse will likely be a healthy scratch tonight when the Canadiens face the New York Rangers at the Bell Centre. Latendresse was also a healthy scratched in Tuesday's contest against the Atlanta Thrashers.
It was not the first time that Latendresse was not dressed when healthy by Guy Carbonneau, but it's the first time #84 appeared confused in front of the media.
To tell the truth, he looked shocked.
“It's not a situation I was expecting, but I don't have the choice to live with it,“ said the 21 year-old forward, who agreed to meet the journalists despite his concerns.
The pleasant forward, usually smiling, is having a hard time understanding what is happening to him and what Carbonneau essentially wants from him.
“I don't really know what he wants more from me, declared Tenderness. I did not understand completely our conversations, they did not answer my questions about the reasons of my benching.“
“Maybe he expects me to do more offensively. I have to keep trying making plays event if I lost most of my confidence.“
Carbo has nevertheless met him and Sergei Kostitsyn, who was also a healthy scratch, Tuesday, to explain them why they would watch the game from the press box!
“If I was in the press box, it means there is something I'm doing wrong, I just don't know what it is.“
“If he is still confused, my door is always open, Carbo added. It's true for all my players.“
Latendresse was asked to shoot from the slot. To play physically and use his big frame. To protect the puck in the corners. To be good defensively, with and without the puck.
Maybe Latendresse lost his true nature along the way? Maybe Carbo and Tender don't go along too well?
After scoring 16 goals in each of his first two seasons with the Canadiens, Latendresse was off the a good start this season, playing with Alex Tanguay and Saku Koivu, notching 6 points in his first five games. However, when Chris Higgins came back from his groin injury, he took Latendresse's spot immediately. As a result, the 21 year-old forward was downgraded to the 3rd and 4th lines; thereby, reducing his offensive production.
“I don't want to make noise, Latendresse stressed. I need to keep my rage inside when I show up at the rink. If I want to be in a bad mood at home, it's my business.“
Carbo recognized that he wishes to spark his young forward and get the best out of him when he will be reinserted in the lineup.
After Steve Begin and Maxim Lapierre were healthy scratched earlier this season, they raised they game significantly in the past few games. Carbonneau is simply trying to do the same with youngsters like Sergei and Guillaume. The former only has 2 assists in the last 10 games and the latter only 2 points in the last 15 games.
Meanwhile, Matt D'Agostini, who was recalled from Hamilton last Friday, scored his first NHL goal in only his second game this season against the Thrashers...