Interim head coach Dan Bylsma made his first bold move of his young coaching career this morning, deciding to scratch right winger Petr Sykora.
Sykora, 32, is in the middle of a major slump that has lasted over two months, recording only 6 points in his last 29 games, including 0 points in the playoffs.
Sykora saw 8:21 of ice time in game 5 and Bylsma rarely used him in the third period as Sykora struggled offensively and in the defensive zone struggled along the boards getting the puck out of the zone.
While Sykora is counted on as a offensive player to produce points, the main reason for the switch is because he is having absolutely no impact in others areas of his game.
Whether the Penguins lose or win tonight, this is an important lineup switch because Bylsma is putting his stamp on this team.
He is showing the team and the front office that he may be a ‚Äúplayer friendly coach‚Äù, but players will sit if they don‚Äôt produce.
Opportunity for Miroslav Satan
When Miroslav Satan accepted his re-assignment to Wilkes Barrie, his agent (Allan Walsh) indicated
the Penguins gave their word that Satan would get an opportunity to get back into the lineup during the playoffs.
Dan Bylsma coached Satan in New York and has a lot of confidence in him. There has been indications that Bylsma would not be shy about getting Satan in the lineup and that notion will come true tonight.
We‚Äôre told Satan will start the game on the 4th line but will see shifts with Evgeni Malkin as the game evolves.
If Satan plays well, he will stay in the lineup and it could lead to him getting an NHL contract from another team during the off-season.
Big opportunity for him tonight