SUNRISE, Fla. | Mike Knuble was done talking about being a healthy scratch. The Washington Capitals alternate captain on Tuesday expressed frustration and then on Wednesday was ready to move on.
“I don’t really have anything else to say about it. I just want it to end,” he said. “You’ve said your piece, and it doesn’t need to carry on. Consider this the end of it, then.”
The end came Friday night as Knuble returned to the Caps’ lineup at the Florida Panthers. He started on the third line with Matt Hendricks and Brooks Laich and finished with an assist in 11:34 of ice time.
And though Knuble had a goal disallowed, he didn’t let that dampen his night.
Keith Aucoin was a healthy scratch for the second straight game.
General manager George McPhee expected Knuble to play this weekend, adding “that’s the plan.” But he said being a healthy scratch is not necessarily a bad thing.
“There’s no hidden agenda there. It’s real simple,” McPhee said. “If you’re in the lineup you’re doing something right, if you’re not in the lineup, you’re not doing something right, you’re not playing hard enough, you’re not playing right. It doesn’t have to be explained.”
The Caps went 0-2-1 without Knuble but won Friday night with him in the lineup.
Mike Green was officially called a “game-time” decision by coach Dale Hunter on Friday morning, but it looked very obvious he wasn’t going to play. The defenseman could play at some point on this road trip, but he did not even take part in pregame warm-ups at BankAtlantic Center.