Jonathan Huberdeau working through sophomore slump

Reigning Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau found himself watching the final 17:22 of Tuesday's 4-2 win over the New York Islanders from the bench, an attempt by head coach Peter Horachek to encourage the young forward to earn his ice time through simple hard work.

"I don't use that word benched, but that's what the analogy of it is,'' Horachek told the Sun-Sentinel. "His time is earned, right now he's going through a tough time. We're asking him to work harder because he's feeling the pressure of not scoring.''

Huberdeau, who hasn't scored since Dec. 7, appeared to have a good perspective on the situation: "I understood why he didn't want me on the ice. It's a learning process. I've been digging a hole, being negative all the time. I just need to keep positive. It's good that the team is winning.''

Here's a look at Huberdeau's overall numbers this season as compared to last:

Stats 2012-13 2013-14
Games Played 48 44
Goals 14 7
Assists 17 10
Shots 112 67
Corsi For (All) 55.7 56

While his possession numbers are up a tick, his shots on goal are way down, as is his shooting percentage (12.5 percent to 10.4 percent). Confidence appears to be an issue, as Huberdeu admitted that scoring on a first-period breakaway on Tuesday would've been a "game-changer."

The Panthers next game is Thursday against the San Jose Sharks.

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Jonathan Huberdeau working through sophomore slump
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