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Blue Jackets make struggling Laine healthy scratch vs. Flyers

Dave Reginek / National Hockey League / Getty

Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine was made a healthy scratch for Columbus' 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.

"I know Patrik the person and I know (Laine) the player, if that makes sense. ... I know his potential," Blue Jackets head coach Pascal Vincent explained, per's Adam Kimelman. "He's not happy about the decision, don't get me wrong. But right now, I think Patty needs to take a deep breath, go back to the working lab, and get his touches back, get his shot back, get his confidence back, so he can be the No. 29 Patrik Laine we all know he can be.

"It was a hard conversation, but nobody, not myself, nobody's bigger than the Blue Jackets. ... We need the best Patrik Laine as possible for us."

Laine has mustered just two goals and one assist in nine games this campaign. He missed nine contests with an upper-body injury earlier this season.

The 2016 second overall pick logged just 12:21 of ice time during Saturday's defeat to the Washington Capitals, and he was benched late in Thursday's loss to the Arizona Coyotes.

Laine eclipsed the 30-goal mark in each of the first three seasons of his NHL career, but he's struggled since then. He chipped in with 22 goals and 52 points in 55 outings with the Blue Jackets last season.

The 25-year-old is currently in the second season of a four-year pact with an average annual value of $8.7 million.

Following Sunday's loss, the Blue Jackets have dropped nine straight. Six of those contests were decided by one goal.

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