Hawks center Jake Dowell was a healthy scratch for the first time all season Monday night against the Los Angeles Kings.
The scratch came a day after Dowell was benched in the third period of a loss to the Anaheim Ducks.
Asked why Dowell didn't play in the final 20 minutes, coach Joel Quenneville said he wanted to double shift Marian Hossa.
But it was clearly more than that.
In a season marred by inconsistencies, Dowell has been one of the Hawks' more consistent players. He has five goals, 15 points and a very impressive plus-10 rating for a third/fourth line player.
Unlike Jack Skille, Viktor Stalberg and John Scott, Dowell can also play on the penalty kill. He'll also fight. Dowell is tied with Scott with a team-high seven fighting majors.
"He's been pretty consistent in his game," Quenneville said after Wednesday's morning skate. "He's been more victimized by numbers and maybe trying things [with different line combinations] as well.
"He's been pretty steady in his contributions and his responsibility. He gets the job the done. That's kind of where it's at, but sometimes you have to stick with it.
"[After the win over the Kings], we didn't really want to change too many things for [Wednesday's] game [against the Dallas Stars], but certainly he's one of those players, where we expect him back in there soon."
Quenneville rarely changes things after wins, but he also hasn't hesitated to sit players if he was unhappy with them. It doesn't sound like he is unhappy with Dowell, but the center is expected to be a scratch again.
"I think I'm a pretty motivated person in the first place," Dowell said. "I don't think I need a whole lot of a kick in the butt. But he shook things up and the team won last game, it's tough to change the lineup after a win."