The forward - Shradi - might have just needed a rest. Before last night, he played significant minutes 3 times in the previous 4 games over 15 days. That's unusual for him, and he only has 21 games of 75 minutes or more in 86 games since he got here.So you think maybe he put the forward on the bench in case of an injury to have a player to come off the bench?
Also would like to point out that the parity in the eastern conference is way lower than in the western conference - if we were in the west (removing the 'we have to play the teams on the west' and looking purely at points), we'd be vying for first place. (then again, columbus is on a losing streak so idk)
The East does have more of the best teams, but I can't say we would be vying for first place. Seattle has 3 more points but also 2 extra games to play. We could catch them, but probably need to win out while Seattle slumps.