Skinner: 'I don't think you learn anything' by not playing

Bill Wippert / National Hockey League / Getty

Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner was a healthy scratch for the third straight game Thursday night, but the 28-year-old doesn't think watching from the press box will help him break out of his lengthy slump.

"I don't think you learn anything extra by not being out there, but, obviously, this situation is maybe not that straightforward in the fact that 'lessons being learned' is maybe more of a vague concept," Skinner said Friday, according to The Athletic's John Vogl.

Skinner, who's in the second season of an eight-year, $72-million contract, has yet to score and has just one assist through 14 games. He skated with the club's taxi squad during Thursday's practice.

Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger said Thursday that he doesn't have a doghouse and that he'll continue to work with Skinner to find his potential. The 5-foot-11 winger understands Krueger's decision and insists it hasn't impacted how he views his future with the club.

"I try and help the team win as much as I can," Skinner said. "That's my main focus. Obviously, the coach is trying to do that, too. ... He has 23 other guys to worry about. He has a team to coach. I just have to play hockey.

He added, "I love being a Sabre. I love the city of Buffalo. I wouldn't have chosen to stay here if that wasn't (the) case, so that answer is simple."

The Sabres could certainly use Skinner's offensive touch. Buffalo ranks 27th in scoring this season and sits last in the East Division through 17 games.

Skinner: 'I don't think you learn anything' by not playing
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