The Nikkita Filatov Conundrum

November 11th, 2009 by Ed Cmar Leave a reply »
Perhaps the most perplexing development with the Columbus Blue Jackets this season is the lack of playing time given to forward Nikita Filatov.

Since the season began, Filatov has seen his Time On Ice (TOI) go from a small amount, to virtually non-existent, to a series of healthy scratches—this, predicated by quite an intense discussion with Head Coach Ken Hitchcock during a practice preceding the series of healthy scratches—to Filatov starting to play, even fewer minutes, to more healthy scratches, to playing a few more minutes—only due to a rash of injuries to the CBJ's forward crop—to more diminished minutes, last night, with the same diminished forward corps. Whew! Recounting that was exhausting...

Let's backtrack a bit to what predicated the first series of healthy scratches, then to the more confusing second go-around of diminished ice time and healthy scratches.

Hitchcock and Filatov met—for about 10 minutes, right before the fourth game of the season, against the Calgary Flames—at center ice. By the accounts of the local print media, it was quite a scene as Hitchcock, tapping his stick, at times, on the ice, "informed" Filatov ...

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