It was a pretty good stretch again for Florida Panthers defenseman Keaton Ellerby, who had seen some regular action with the Panthers over the last week or so, but was found on the scratches list on Saturday night, as the team took on the Montreal Canadiens for their New Year's Eve tilt. Ellerby only has 2 assists in 15 games this year for the Panthers, but of course there is going to be some game rhythm missing from not playing every night, but it's kind of a double-edged sword there. I would expect to see the cycle continue.
The Minnesota Wild moved to scratch Box 13 defenseman Marco Scandella on Saturday night, re-inserting defenseman Jared Spurgeon in the line-up for their game against the Coyotes. Scandella has only picked up 2 goals and 2 assists this season for the Wild, which is likely less than the Wild were expecting out of the young blueliner, so a healthy scratch may be the cure to his troubles at this point in the year. I have little doubt that he'll be in the press box for much longer than this one game, but for his sake, I hope it picks up his game a little.
It appears to be that Islanders defenseman Mike Mottau was a healthy scratch for the club, who took on the Oilers on Saturday afternoon. There was no mention of any sort of injury and with only 2 assists in 28 games for the club, plus an early start for some older bones, it kind of adds up to be a very reasonable choice to have him in the press box for this game. I would not expect the Box 29 defenseman to be out of the line-up for very long, but I also don't expect him to be very popular in the pool either.
Box 30 defenseman Simon Despres was sent back down to Wilkes-Barre Scranton of the AHL on Sunday morning, as the depth defender may be making room for veteran Paul Martin, who is drawing closer to a return to regular action from injury. Despres has been okay for the Penguins in his fill-in role, scoring 1 goal and 3 assists in 13 games. He is considered to be one of the prized young players for the Penguins, but is obviously still in need of some seasoning, according to his demotion on Sunday, but it looks like it is working in his favour.