St. Louis Blues head coach Mike Yeo has made the decision to make Jay Bouwmeester a healthy scratch against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Looking to shake things up, Yeo decided to bench Bouwmeester in the hopes of resetting his game.
Bouwmeester believes this is the first time he’s been a healthy scratch in his 16-year career.
Summarized, Bouwmeester hasn’t looked great this season. His game has been noticeably slowing over the past few seasons, but he’s been mostly been able to cover that up with his hockey IQ. Unfortunately, his play in 2018-19 has been another step down, resulting in the healthy scratch.
Like the respected veteran he is, Bouwmeester is taking the decision in stride.
Hopefully Bouwmeester still has some gas left in the tank. The Blues have been dreadful on defense, and that extends well beyond what Bouwmeester has or hasn’t done on the ice. The team is fairly young on defense and needs a player like Bouwmeester to help guide and lead the group with his experience. He doesn’t need to be the best, but he needs to at least be a reliable option.
Consider this a message from Yeo and the coaching staff. Bouwmeester now knows he has to be better and has to find a way to still compete at the level asked of him. Meanwhile, the other Blues skaters now know that everyone is going to be held accountable, regardless of how many years in the league they have.