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Penguins hope Scuderi was missing piece for playoff success

Apr 12, 2014, 12:11 PM EDT

Phoenix Coyotes v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

The Penguins are hoping the playoff version of Rob Scuderi arrives on time for the postseason.

In his first season back in Pittsburgh, Scuderi has had his ups and downs in his play and his health. As Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review shares, Penguins coaches know he can be a difference maker when he’s on his game.

When he’s playing his best, he settles down our entire (defense),” assistant coach Todd Reirden said Friday. “We brought him back with a purpose in mind, and these are the games we have him for.

Scuderi’s legend in Pittsburgh is already strong thanks to his play during the 2009 Stanley Cup Final.

His play in helping defend the Penguins net against the Detroit Red Wings earned him the nickname of “The Piece” and this season’s Penguins hope he can provide that kind of defensive leadership again. Having Kris Letang back in the lineup and Paul Martin healthy once again, things are looking up at the right time for the Penguins’ blue line.

  1. davidsmj22 - Apr 12, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Pitt will be playing golf in two weeks hopefully

  2. lowenni - Apr 12, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Can any Pens fans tell me how Scuderi has been doing this season? From this article it sounds like he’s been a bit dissapointing and I know he had some brief injuries, but I know at his best he’s a great shutdown D-man. Has he looked like he’s regaining his form or is he slowing down? Just curious, thanks.

    • shwatson - Apr 12, 2014 at 1:16 PM

      Scuderi has been horrible this season. I can count at least 5 goals that have gone in off his back end while he’s in statuesque form with one knee and stick on the ice. It’s looking like a big mistake signing him. It’s a shame they don’t trust Despres a little more. I could live with Despres mistakes if it makes him a better Dman. It’s hard for a young Dman to progress when they’re only playing one a week.

      • chuchie414 - Apr 12, 2014 at 4:20 PM

        I don’t rust Despres at all. He takes dumb penalties. I would much rather see them call up Dumolin. In fact i think they should try to trade Despres while he is still worth something because he has bust written all over himself imo.

  3. redwingsfan101 - Apr 12, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    I’m obviously not a pens fan but stats wise he had a better rookie season then this one.

  4. muckleflugga - Apr 12, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    wishing and hoping and thinking and praying … planning and dreaming each night of his charms

    looking at penguins defence anchored by a pylon like orpik and a flake like fleury in goal, they need something

    scuderi doesn’t have the leg to survive an extended series

  5. muckleflugga - Apr 12, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    somehow i don’t equate the term legend with rob scuderi

    perhaps our blogger was employing thinly disguised sarcasm directed at the exaggerated importance every penguins’ move brings

    in pittsburgh

    • chanceoffleury - Apr 12, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      It was sort of. Back in 2009 during the cup run, Scuderi meant to say that he was “A piece to the puzzle” after he made a great save on a goal attempt. Instead, he accidentally said he was “THE piece to the puzzle”. All the guys in the locker room caught onto it and started saying stuff like “Scuderi, he’s the piece,….” or “You know the piece, Scuderi,….” whenever they’d reference him in interviews and stuff. The media eventually asked him about it and he explained he was just the butt of the locker room’s joke after his interview goof. It’s caught on around fans and media so now everyone still refers to him as “the piece” in a joking manner.

  6. penguins87and71 - Apr 12, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    I think the farthest the Penguins get this year is the second round, maybe the third round if they don’t have to face the Flyers. I don’t know what to really think of this team, they haven’t been completely all year and that scares me, they probably won’t have any chemistry going into the Playoffs, because these guys haven’t really played with each other all year. Scuderri was a bad signing, his just not the same.

  7. biasedhomer - Apr 12, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Well this seems like a fluff piece, Scuderi is on his last legs. Maybe he can find the fountain of youth for one more playoff run, but more than likely he will continue to disappoint.

  8. aldog83 - Apr 12, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    I could see the Flyers knock out the Penguins.

    Philly physical and has scoring depth.

    Built for playoffs.

    (Main question will be Mason in net)

  9. phillyphannnn83 - Apr 12, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    We said it back in Dec….

    The Pens and their fans are dreading a series with the Flyers.

    They responded with “the Flyers are garbage and won’t make the playoffs.”

    My only response…

    • iamcanadian87 - Apr 12, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      And the only thing Philly and their fans have to dream about is beating Pittsburgh. That is their Stanley Cup, since the real thing has been and will be out of there reach for years and years and years….

  10. bencia823 - Apr 12, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    for what it’s worth, Scuds has put up significantly better numbers in the playoffs than the regualr season throughout his career

  11. muckleflugga - Apr 12, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    i’m not sure anyone really wants to hook the penguins first round … teams that blow hot and cold might suddenly find their stride when you need it least

    as a wings supporter i’d rather see bruins first round … not because i see them as beatable, but because they play consistently hard-nosed hard-skating hockey … they may run us out of the barn and they may not

    but at least there is foundation for building systemized defensive and attack strategies against bruins’ predictability … series with bruins often come down to coaching match-ups as a delimiter

    penguins reserve a special hate for wings … not uncommon throughout the league but more pronounced with pittsburgh … i’d rather see that edge blunted by another team over an extended series full of four overtime games

    penguins are not a wild card team by definition, but they like every joker, might hit the table unexpectedly … turning a pair of deuces into trips …

    just in time to look at chicago’s nut flush ace high

  12. live4hockey - Apr 12, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    He’s had a rough year…really up and down. He’s shown that he can be great at times, but he’s also shown he can be bad. Terrible is a bit harsh…inconsistent for sure but I wouldn’t say terrible. He has down very well on the PK. Maybe injuries had something to do with it or maybe he’s just old. Either way, right now, it looks like a bad contract.

  13. live4hockey - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    Agree 100% about Despres.

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