by Amy Moritz
Ville Leino spent the last game of the California road trip watching from the press box as a healthy scratch.
"I certianly wasn't expecting it. But what are you going to do?" the six-year NHL veteran said today.
Leino will be back in the lineup tonight as the Buffalo Sabres host the L.A. Kings at First Niagara Center. The forward said he didn't talk with coach Ron Rolston about the scratch. "There's no point in guessing," Leino said. "I don't think it really matters at this point."
Leino's numbers certainly aren't where Rolston or the Sabres need them to be. Since returning from a cracked rib he suffered in the season opener, Leino has one point and one shot in six games.
Rolston said while he did not talk to Leino specifically about the benching in Anaheim, they had talked about his performance and contributions previously.
"He's a guy we'd like to have in our top six," Rolston said. "He's a guy we need production out of."
There was no linework in practice, but John Scott, Johan Larsson and Nikita Zadorov will be scratches for tonight's game with Christian Ehrhoff expected to be in the lineup.
Olympic hockey fans should keep an eye on the goaltending matchup which is expected to be Ryan Miller vs. Jonathan Quick. Both are in the top three for Team USA.
Click below to hear Rolston's lengthy session with the media today, where the topics include Leino, his team's first-period struggles, playing the Western Conference and his young defensemen.