peterleefan wrote:Hard to believe that Despres will be in lineup - he was awful in game 3. Maybe Eaton is hurt. But he wont get a reg shift - he was a deer in the headlights in game 3 - just awful. He only played 6 min too
Eaton only played 10 minutes in game 4 and didn't hit the ice after the Islanders tied it. Engelland is a joke and was held to 12 minutes in game 2. Despres had a rough time in game 3, no doubt about it, but what are your other options? You have Eaton, Despres, Engelland, and Bortuzzo. Only one of those four has the skillset and ability that the Penguins absolutely need in this series.
The real shame is Bylsma's complete mishandling of Despres in the regular season is costing the team now. The Penguins could have a talented young defenseman capable of contributing valuable playoff minutes after honing his skills in the regular skills. Instead, he was benched or scratched for every mistake, despite his mistakes being no more egregious than the other defenseman on the roster, and was scratched against physical teams so the coaching staff had an excuse to play Engelland. Developing a young defenseman and boosting his confidence took a backseat to playing a scrub.
Now the scrub is playing like a scrub and the charmin soft old guy that no other team wanted is playing like a roll of extra soft. Fingers crossed that Despres has his head on straight and plays like we all know he can. The Penguins absolutely need him to.