Russell down a good thing

Light the LampSenior Writer IOctober 27, 2008
It was good to get an explanation on why Russell was sent down this morning - from the 'patch:

"He was good with (the demotion)," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He wants to play. He knows he needs to play.

"He has the skills to move the puck out of trouble. We just want to see him do it on a consistent basis."

"He was very good in the exhibition season," Hitchcock said. "And very good in the first game of the season (in Dallas).
I've watched every game and clearly I'm missing something in terms of his play dropping off since the first game of the season. I thought he was skating well, looking for back door plays and finding some solid chemistry with Backman. If anyone was struggling it was the top 4 guys.
With Boll back in the lineup tonight somebody on the current roster had to move. The fact that Russell is the only non-waiver eligible defensemen on the list and not playing certainly made him a candidate. Although I'm still not sure why a guy like Filatov is still with the big team as he could have been sent down as well.
I'm starting to worry about some of the development decisions of our young guys in terms of getting their chains yanked all over the place. I thought the org did a great job with Brassard and Voracek but the kind of indecision with Russell and Filatov has me concerned a bit...

I suspect Filatov's future will be decided within the week (I'm personally hoping its the Junior route or at the very least Syracuse until he gets a regular shift up here) and Russell is an defensive injury away from a (total) re-call.
Regardless I'm glad Russell is getting sent down because its certainly not doing him any good warming the press box. Since he's down there I hope he gets plenty of playing time and if there are any doubts keep him down for a while and let him develop and gain whatever confidence he's lost, which I don't think is much because he wasn't playing bad, back. Hopefuly Filatov is right behind him when a guy like Modin comes off the IR.
Would love to hear your thoughts on the demotion and I've also added a related poll question.

More on tonight's game against Anaheim in a bit.