A disappointment from the players after Friday night’s 3-2 loss to the Rangers was how the Penguins didn’t match the Rangers physical play.
Players such as Chris Kunitz, Matt Cooke and Brooks Orpik did but the likes of Michael Rupp didn’t. Rupp who had an excellent game against the New York Islanders Wednesday night, providing a physical presence and mixing things up, did not bring that same kind of physical play Friday night. It’s been a problem as Rupp has lacked consistency in the toughness department.
Against the Islanders, Rupp played the type of game that the Penguins signed him for but had just 1 hit in over 7 minutes of ice time against the Rangers, in what was a game that had a playoff intensity to it.
Rupp has been a great locker room presence and the 11 goals this season has been an added bonus. However, the Penguins didn’t sign him to score goals but to play the type of game he played Wednesday night against the Islanders.
*What the Penguins decide to do with Ruslan Fedotenko will be an interesting dynamic during the Olympic break. Zero goals in his last 16 games and a team worst plus/minus rating of -15.
The team has made him available for trade but have only received inquiries to this point. Just because Fedotenko took less money to return on a one year deal will have no bearing on whether the Penguins keep him or move him for an addition draft pick and cap space.
For Pittsburgh to accomplish their top priorities of adding a winger and a defensive-defenseman, one or two roster players are going to have to be moved.
*Penguins GM Ray Shero will meet with a number of agents next week, who represent Penguin players that are in the final year of their contracts.