Penguins Notebook: Fedotenko to miss 4 to 6 weeks
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DENVER -- Ruslan Fedotenko doesn't fight much.
And even though he won his most recent one in stunning fashion, it will be a while before Fedotenko does it again.
Or even gets a chance.
It turns out that he broke his right hand throwing the punch that dropped Atlanta right winger Colby Armstrong during their skirmish in the first period of the Penguins' 3-1 victory Tuesday against the Thrashers, and is expected to be out of the lineup for 4 to 6 weeks.
The Penguins, who will play Colorado at 3:08 p.m. today at the Pepsi Center, recalled forward Chris Minard from their minor league team in Wilkes-Barre once they learned the extent of Fedotenko's injury.
Minard leads the American Hockey League with 26 goals and is tied for second in points with 41. He has one goal and one assist in 15 games with the Penguins this season.
Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was chosen to play in the NHL's YoungStars game, which will be contested Jan. 24 in Montreal as part of the All-Star weekend.
Teammate Alex Goligoski didn't fare as well. Although he is the leading point-producer among rookie defensemen in the NHL with six goals and 13 assists in 39 games, Goligoski didn't receive a berth in the game, which will pit first-year players against those in their second NHL season.
Marc Staal of the New York Rangers will join Letang as the sophomore defensemen, while Drew Doughty (Los Angeles) and Luke Schenn (Toronto) got the spots for which Goligoski was eligible.
Penguins partisans aren't the only ones who have been calling for a major personnel change to pull their team out of a slump, but Avalanche fans who were demanding a high-impact move before their team's modest two-game winning streak don't seem likely to get their wish, either.
Part of that is because making a significant deal is difficult when so many teams have limited salary-cap space, and part is because most executives understand that it usually isn't good business to make moves with long-impact implications in response to a short-term crisis.
"[Fans] can say what they want," Colorado coach Tony Granato told the Denver Post. "As a fan, you're entitled to your opinion. Obviously, as an organization, if there's a chance for us to get better and do the right move, you always do it.
"But to force it, and just say you have to do it, you can't do it. That's not the way you play the game, and that's not what's going to help you in the long run. What's going to help you in the long run is fighting through it and finding other people that need to step up."
Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi, meanwhile, seems skeptical that a trade would cure his team's fundamental problems.
"You can see what can happen when everyone's on the same page and we all buy into what we're supposed to do," he said. "But, if you don't want to take the right steps to be successful, it's just not going to happen.
"No coach or trade can ever make you want to do that. You have to do it yourself. Until we do that, we're not going to be a consistently good team."
Colorado is quite comfortable in close games. Twenty-four of its 41 have been decided by one goal, with the Avalanche going 16-7-1 in those. ... Colorado has won 22 consecutive games when leading at the second intermission, 14 of them this season. ... If the game today goes to a shootout, the Penguins can count on seeing Wojtek Wolski in Colorado's rotation. He has scored on six of seven shootout tries this season and is 13 for 21 in his career, the second-highest percentage in shootout history. ... The Penguins will fly home after the game today and, after a day off tomorrow, will practice at home Monday before flying to Philadelphia for a game Tuesday.
First Published January 10, 2009 12:00 am