He played roughly six minutes in total and took just one shift in the third period. But why the benching? Pete DeBoer wasn't talking.
Then, comes this, via Tom Gulitti's blog Fire & Ice:
I like Butler. I like his shot. I like his offensive potential. I don't even mind whatever's left in the rest of his game. Unfortunately, he needs to score in order to stay in the NHL and much like in training camp, he's not doing that. Gulitti points out a great chance Butler had last night off a pass from Kovy that he failed to convert, but also fairly notes that he was far from the only Devil to fail to convert last night -- and basically over the past two weeks. The problem is that, like Gulitti points out, someone has to be the odd man out when Carter returns. Obviously, everyone playing in the top nine forwards is safe, leaving us with this group:The Devils will have to send someone down to activate Ryan Carter (concussion) from injured reserve if he’s ready to play Saturday. If the Devils continue to play Henrique at left wing, they’ll need a center for the fourth line. Carter could be that center, I guess, or they could keep Tim Sestito (played 5:18 tonight) for that role and send down someone else.Butler has just one goal and one assist in 13 games this season—both came in a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh on Feb. 9—despite playing regularly on the second power-play unit. Is it possible he could be the player they send down? I saw him headed into the coaches’ office with assistant Matt Shaw after tonight’s game, but that could have just been some postgame review.
Krys Barch, Stefan Matteau, Bobby Butler, Tim Sestito.
The Devils seem reluctant to part with Matteau at this point and his overall game is far more useful than Butler's. Barch is needed(?) for those once-in-a-blue-moon games when you've gotta drop the gloves three times in a night or send him out there every once in a while to back up/protect Kovy. That brings it down to Butler and Sestito. If you asked me, I don't think a team that has trouble scoring more than two goals a night can afford to keep an offensively-challenged energy player over a guy with possibly the third- or fourth-best shot on the team. Is Butler in a scoring slump? For the last two seasons. But Sestito is repetitive, a lesser version of every member of the Devils' third line and an average fourth liner at best. Call me crazy, but I think the guy who actually has scoring ability is much more valuable.