FanPost

Fedotenko - Huge in Game 3


Ruslan Fedotenko was a significant factor in the Game 3 win over the Washington Capitals.

While the lack of scoring of Marion Gaborik, the game-winning goal from Brandon Dubinsky, the snipe from a ridiculous angle of Eric Christensen, and the continued monster play from Marc Staal and Dan Girardi garner most of the headlines and commentary - "Feds", to borrow a painfully overused cliche, "did all of the little things" and did them well.

Example one - with only one defenseman back, Feds hustles as hard as he can to get back in the play. As the pass goes from right to left - to what appears to be a wide-open Cap player, he lays out full extension, gets his stick in the way of the pass, and then swats at it a second time so that no second-chance can occur - and Hank gobbles it up. Without that backcheck, it's a prime scoring opportunity of exactly the type that the Caps will cash in more often than not. Huge play.

Example two - with time running down in the 2nd, he works the boards, then twirls the puck towards the crease from behind the goal line. You can argue that he was 2/10ths of a second late - but it was still a hard-working play - and unlike so many others, he got the puck TO THE NET (even if it was "from the side!!!").


Example three - the available videos on NHL.COM suck - they start a few seconds too late to show the tremendous impact Feds had on the game winning goal sequence. And it won't show on the score-sheet, since it was technically an unassisted goal. Dubinsky is getting harassed against the boards - Feds is just behind him to lend support if the puck pops out. Hannan is cross-checking Feds, who turns, confronts him, and gives him a whack back, holding his ground. As that happens, Dubinsky gets control and an opening, skates towards the goal line away from Ovechkin and Backstrom. Hannan, pre-occupied with Feds, is too late in recognizing what happens, and ends up in between Dubi and Ovechkin, preventing a backcheck. Dubi looks like he's going behind the net, Alzner hesitates, and the rest is history. Without Hannan being tied up with Feds, that play never develops.

It's things like this that led to Feds being on this team, and why John Tortorella trusts him in big situations. He's not the fastest, he's not the biggest or strongest - but he's a smart, playoff-tested, savvy veteran who contributes in ways that often go unnoticed.

Last night was one of many situations where I'm glad he's a New York Ranger.

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