Tonight’s contest against Minnesota will most likely mark the ninth time in the last 10 games that Colin Wilson has not been in the lineup. Some of those previous nine games he was affected by a groin injury; others he was a healthy scratch.
It has been frustrating for Wilson, who mentioned this morning that he has been working on what has been asked of him to do in practices. He’s moving his feet, he’s working on details and focus. But it still hasn’t been enough to crack the lineup with just three games left before the playoffs.
“You got to work hard and keep your focus on trying to get in the lineup. Plain and simple,” head coach Barry Trotz said. “How you practice, how you work, if you have details – that will determine if you’re in the lineup.”
Wilson’s last game was last Tuesday in St. Louis, where he saw 9:53 of ice-time and had a minus-1 rating.
“Right now [Trotz] is going with the team he thinks can win, and if you’re not in the lineup then it speaks a lot,” he said. “I’m taking it to heart right now and I’m doing whatever I can to get back out there.”
This isn’t the first time this has happened to Wilson, as he was a healthy scratch for the entire first round against Anaheim last spring after playing in all 82 games during the season.
“It is what it is,” said Wilson, who has 15 goals and 34 points in 67 games. “[Trotz and I] talked recently about it. He said he wants me moving more in practice. … I have to do it all in practice because that’s the only time I can really show anything.
“I’ve been consistent throughout the whole year. I guess lately I haven’t been as good or as focused or as detailed and he’s letting me know.”
Trotz spoke highly of Wilson and his potential, but still wants to see more from the 22-year-old before re-inserting him into the lineup.
“Colin’s a young player that has a lot of growth, a young player that has a lot of talent, but you have to bring the game and the talent together,” said Trotz. “Once they come together he can be a really effective player for us.”