SUN Hockey Pool

Nedved pays the price for poor play

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 1:55 PM ET

They brought in Petr Nedved to jump-start Edmonton's offence, but 10 games later it's Nedved who needs the cables.

After two points in his first two games with Edmonton after being claimed on re-entry waivers from Philadelphia, he's been limited to two assists in his last eight games.

When you're getting 16 to 18 minutes a night with Ales Hemsky and Petr Sykora (who are also slumping) it's not nearly good enough, so Nedved found himself a healthy scratch for last night's game against L.A.

There are any number of forwards Craig MacTavish could, and probably should, send to the press box for a game or two, but he'll start with Nedved.

FOR NOW.

"He hasn't played great," said the head coach. "I know we have a lot of guys who haven't played very well. Those guys will be on the outside looking in very shortly, as well. You have to do something.

"You're not in the lineup just because somebody else is playing worse."

There isn't a heck of a lot Nedved can say in his defence - he hardly competed at all against the Sharks on Friday - so he'll accept the criticism and wait for his chance to make amends.

"Obviously nobody likes that (sitting)," he said after working up a sweat on the exercise bike.

"Personally, I think the last couple of games I didn't play well. I have to create more chances, for the team and for myself. When the team doesn't play well, changes are made. Obviously I have to play better."

The Czech line is judged solely on its offensive production, and it doesn't have a single point to show for the last three games.

"Getting more scoring opportunities, that would be the number one thing," said Nedved, when asked what he needs to improve on.

"Friday night and the game before against Calgary I wasn't creating a lot of opportunities."

STAIOS BACK: Defenceman Steve Staios, who missed seven games with a flare-up in the left knee, returned to the lineup, though not at 100%.

"It's not going to go away overnight. It's going to be something I'll have to deal with," he said of the pain. "But, overall, I feel good enough to come back and play."


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