Mar 30, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Michal Handzus (26) is stopped on a wrap around attempt at a goal by Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi (4) as goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) and defenseman Deryk Engelland (5) also defend during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Should Deryk Engelland Replace Rob Scuderi For Game 7?

 

As the Pittsburgh Penguins get set to take on the New York Rangers in a do-or-die Game 7, there’s a move they must address.

Scratching Rob Scuderi.

Scuderi, although a seasoned veteran and righteous vocal leader, has underperformed in this series, and head coach Dan Bylsma needs to make a statement by sitting him.

It’s disappointing that I’ve had to come to this conclusion because I know what Scuderi is capable of, but he’s really struggling to make the right play. Caught flat-footed a number of times and failing to clear the puck in pivotal moments, Scuderi hasn’t improved throughout, and keeps making the same errors over-and-over.

For Pittsburgh to advance, they need more hard-nosed bodies – something Scuderi doesn’t really bring. Which is why Deryk Engelland’s number should be called.

Engelland has not appeared in any postseason games this year, but will make his presence felt. And in an attempt to re-establish order in the physicality department, Engelland’s large frame and tenacious checking ability should put New York in their place.

Although Engelland may run into the same issues as Scuderi has – slow mobility and late pickups – the last two outings clearly showed Pittsburgh needs more toughness, because the Rangers are overwhelming them in every category at the moment.

That’s another tactic the Pens must execute – getting into a fight. Which is something Engelland will most certainly oblige.

That’s what baffles me, is that Pittsburgh – now that Tanner Glass is out of the lineup – doesn’t have anybody that will fight, and it’s what they desperately need. I, like the rest of the Pens’ faithful I’m sure, have sat here on my couch pleading to my television set for Pittsburgh to throw haymakers, yet to no avail.

If you’re going to display frustration, wouldn’t you want somebody to get the team fired up via a heavyweight smash, instead of falling victim to unnecessary penalties that make you look bad and throw your squad under the bus? Engelland will provide that spark.

Heck, Engelland might even score a goal. The man ranked third amongst defensemen on the team with six goals during the regular-season, and he only performed in 56 contests. So, why not give Engelland a shot? No pun intended.

It’s time to start playing with some passion for once, because, as a fan, I’d rather they go down swinging than acting like foolish adolescents.

Your move Dan.

Game 7 can be seen on the NBC Sports Network, and is set to start at 7 p.m.

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