Many NHL pundits will not question the decision by Dan Bylsma to scratch winger Petr Sykora as it was time to send a message that if you don‚Äôt produce, you will sit, but Bylsma will be questioned for scratching Kris Letang.
Letang suffered a lower leg injury in game 4 but was healthy enough to play in game 5.
Letang skated in the morning skate and during the pregame warm-ups.
Letang’s minor injury had no bearing into Bylsma‚Äôs decision as it was strictly on the motive to get Philippe Boucher in the lineup to spark the Penguins slumping power play.
Letang‚Äôs performance has not been up to par the past couple games but by taking him out of the lineup, you are losing one of your top puck moving defenseman.
In Game 5, the Penguins struggled creating offense on their breakout and clearly missed Kris Letang in their transition game.
By all accounts, Boucher struggled in his first playoff appearance of the season. Boucher was a
-2 and two of his turnovers led to goals.
On the Flyers second goal, Boucher threw the puck around the boards that was intercepted and Claude Giroux put it in the back of the net.
Rob Scuderi who was playing wing after coming out of the penalty box was not low enough but Boucher did not put enough on the puck.
Boucher was very indecisive with the puck in the offensive zone at the blueline. This has been a common theme in practice as his hands and reaction time just don‚Äôt look up to speed.
On the Flyers 3rd goal, Boucher‚Äôs struggles moving the puck came to the forefront.
When rushed at the blueline, Boucher failed to get the puck deep and the flyers countered converting a 2-on-1 to push their lead to 3-0.
While Bylsma made the right move in sitting Petr Sykora as a change was needed, he looked like the coach who was down 3-1, in scratching Kris Letang