Pens To Replace Sykora In Lineup With Most Notorious Playoff Choker Not Named “Alexei”

The PG reports that Miroslav Satan will replace Petr Sykora in the Pens’ lineup for Game 5 tonight in Pittsburgh, which likely confirms the speculation that Sykora’s been playing hurt so far in this series (and likely for the couple weeks prior). A friend of mine suggested this switch before Game 4 but I was a bit skeptical, mostly because this is still Miroslav Satan we’re talking about and these are still the NHL Playoffs — the dude got booed out of Buffalo, which is like getting booed at home by St. Louis Cardinal fans — but Sykora’s impact on the series has been less than negligible, and if you’re gonna let him rest and want to reacclimate Satan to the pro club, this is about as non-risky of a playoff game as you’re gonna get.

Sykora has zero points in this series, and even though his power play duties have been limited, he’s still been missing one-timers left and right, which should be the one thing that even a slumping Sykora doesn’t do; Satan isn’t exactly Captain of the All-Physical Team, but swapping him in for injured-Sykora isn’t really a drop-off in terms of toughness, plus he should be rested and fired up to the point where he might actually hit some people. And by “people,” I mean, “pucks during warmups.”

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