Senators' Mathieu Joseph scratched for game in front of family after 'internal' incident

Joseph missed out on the chance to face his younger brother for the first time after coach D.J. Smith scratched him for a "mistake."

Senators forward Mathieu Joseph admitted to making a
Senators forward Mathieu Joseph admitted to making a "mistake" that earned him a healthy scratch with as many as 50 friends and family in Ottawa to watch him play against brother Pierre-Olivier on Wednesday. (Getty Images)

Ottawa Senators forward Mathieu Joseph has provided some insight into his surprising healthy scratch against the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday night.

The energetic forward revealed to Senators media on Thursday that the decision was based on an "internal" incident, though the 25-year-old opted not to divulge further details on the incident.

“I’m just going to talk about this once,” Joseph said. “This was an internal thing. I made a mistake and I’m ready to assume the consequences of it.

“This is on me, and it's my responsibility. I know I can be better and I will.”

Joseph was scratched against the Penguins despite a significant contingent of family and friends in attendance, on hand to see him face off against his brother and Penguins defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph for the first time in their careers.

“I’ll assume the consequences of it. I’m an adult, I can deal with this,” Joseph added with regard to missing out on facing his sibling. “It’s part of hockey, it’s part of life, and I’m ready to move forward.”

Senators head coach D.J. confirmed the internal nature of the issue, relaying that Joseph would be drawing in on Friday ahead of the second half of the Senators home-and-home with the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

“He sat his game, and we welcome him back with open arms,” the Senators bench boss told the media. “I know that [Joseph] can help us play. I know that he can play up and down the lineup and he can help us in all situations. We need these guys back.”

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Friday night’s game against the Penguins will serve as Joseph’s first game in over a month. The Laval native last played against the Dallas Stars on Dec. 12, when he went down with a lower-body injury that was initially expected to sideline him for just two weeks.

“Every time you come back from an injury, I think you want to have an impact on the game,” Joseph said. “I just want to play my game, my full 60 the right way…and help the team get a win.”

In 25 games this season, Joseph has two goals and seven assists while leading the team in +/- with a +3. He signed a four-year, $11.8-million extension with the Senators last offseason after being acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning at the trade deadline.

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