Ruslan Fedetenko, a career playoff overachiever, was benched after Game One. It was the right move by Coach Bylsma. He had a sub-par season, the biggest minus on the team, and did not play with the edge necessary to make him an effective player. Rupp was in the wings and ready to take his spot in the lineup. Rupp has done his job and for now will remain on the ice. Even though Fedetenko was benched, there was always a good chance that he would still be needed. That time may come in Game Five. If Tyler Kennedy can’t go, Feds must be ready to play. All indications are that he has practiced hard over the last week and will be prepared. I believe that will be the case. This will show the importance of having some experienced depth on the roster come playoff time.
Jay McKee has done a good job since he as been called upon to replace Leopold. His shot blocking ability and steady play in the defensive zone is a plus. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get a little more ice time. Gonchar has played 25 and 23 minutes the last couple of games. This is a little too much for him to give his best performance. I think the Pens will be better served if he can remain fresher as the playoffs go on. That’s the view from E-11.
Note — Chris Neil is a bum. I would dress 17 players on my team if he was my option for 18. His specialty is hitting people from behind after the whistle. This is the act of a total coward.
Note — Leave Fleury alone. He is about to win another playoff series. Luongo, Theodore, Halak, and Elliott have all been pulled from games. Brodeur has been less than adequate. Fleury gives us the best chance to win – Period.
Note — Sid Crosby is the best captain in the league. What a tremendous leader he is. How could you not be a fan of his? Talent, work ethic, humility, team player. What more could you ask for?
Note — Root for the Flyers and the Bruins. The Flyers can play physically and beat up the Capitals, and a Bruins win would give the Penguins home ice. Speaking of the Bruins, 42-year-old former Penguin Mark Recchi has been the Bruins’ best forward so far against the Sabres. What does that say about the Bruins?