Originally posted on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 4/30/12

Ruslan Fedotenko isn't a loud player. He isn't the name you will see on the backs of jerseys at Madison Square Garden, or one that will be chanted through the rafters for his efforts. He's not the guy grabbing the spotlight or making highlight reels across the Internet for what he contributes to the team on a nightly basis. However, what Fedotenko provides for the New York Rangers is just as imperative to the team's success as say, what Brad Richards brings as one of those 'loud' players. He's not only a veteran, but he's a playoff veteran, and he has two Stanley Cup rings to show for it. Ruslan Fedotenko is just the type of guy you want in your lineup when bidding for a championship. 

The turning point in Saturday's Game 1 win over the Washington Capitals was when the Rangers killed off a crucial 5-on-3 powerplay for the Caps midway through the second period. In a tightly defended game, that was a prime opportunity for Alex Ovechkin and Washington's powerplay unit to get on the board and hopefully build up a lead. In other words, the Rangers absolutely needed that kill if they had hopes of coming away with a victory. 

At this moment was when Fedotenko came to the forefront for New York, blocking two shots as well as making a diving play to break up a pass that would've sent a one-timer in the direction of Henrik Lundqvist from down low. Lundqvist certainly held his own during that kill, making some key stops from point blank range, but it was Fedotenko who put the team on his shoulders in that pivotal point in the hockey game.

Feds was rewarded with the third star of the night afterward, and you could say that it was for his assist on Artem Anisimov's wraparound goal in the second period. But I truly believe that it was for his excellence on the penalty-kill while down two men, because that kill turned out to be a key story of the game when it was all over. 

And with two key penalty-killers in Brian Boyle and Brandon Dubinsky currently out of the lineup, Fedotenko's outstanding play couldn't be more timely.

“We basically benched him near the end of the year, and that was part of our conversation with him. We knew how important he was going to be in the playoffs and had to get him ready for that,” Tortorella told the Daily News. “Even in the last series (against Ottawa), he does a lot of little things that a lot of people don’t see. . . . But that’s why he has those two tattoos on his shoulder.”

Those tattoos, by the way, represent the two Cups he won with Tampa Bay in 2004 and Pittsburgh in 2009. 

It's not only in the defensive zone that Feds is effective. He's a jack of all trades, in a sense, because he is also someone who will continuously grind in the offensive zone. He's great on the forecheck and rarely do you ever see him make a dim-witted decision with the puck on his blade. Plain and simple, he's someone you can always trust, and John Tortorella surely does. 

BOYLE NEARING RETURN, DUBINSKY NOT

Brian Boyle has not returned to the lineup since taking a high hit to the head from Chris Neil of the Ottawa Senators in Game 5 of the quarterfinals. Following Sunday's practice, however, he reported that he has not experienced any setbacks as of yet, and that he's now skated for three straight days. While there is still no set date for his return, he's getting awfully close to putting on the sweater once again. 

Brandon Dubinsky, meanwhile, was spotted on crutches on Sunday, still out with a lower body injury from a collision in Game 7 of the quarterfinals. Nothing is for sure, but it seems like it could be a while before Dubi is back. 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Todd Bowles confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets starting QB: ‘It’s his job’

Carmelo Anthony shocked Dwyane Wade left Miami for Chicago

Report: David Lee signs with the Spurs

Craig Sager to miss Olympics while undergoing bone marrow transplant

Jarryd Hayne wouldn’t have retired if NFL had minor league system

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Draymond Green: ‘Me and LeBron are friends’

Pierre-Paul won't need to wear club on hand this season

Report: Four cities remain in contention to host 2017 NBA ASG

Doc Rivers: Clippers have plan to let Paul Pierce retire as a Celtic

Another young 49er, Kaleb Ramsey, retires from NFL

Saints GM: Drew Brees’ contract situation is not a ‘distraction’

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

Gabby Douglas can make USA Gymnastics history at Olympics

Week 3 will determine the Big Ten's reputation this season

Cam Talbot thinks the Oilers are close to making the playoffs

The new era of WWE SmackDown has liftoff

Vlade Divac: Cousins ‘most dominant player in the world’

Wild offer to make Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy' new goal song

Canucks don't dismiss acquiring player with past issues

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker