Fedotenko on Flyers' season: 'Nobody expected this'

Fedotenko on Flyers' season: 'Nobody expected this'
April 27, 2013, 1:00 pm
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OTTAWA – Most days after a Flyers practice or morning skate, you will find him sitting there at his stall with his gear off just surveying the dressing room.
 
Ruslan Fedotenko doesn’t say much, but he’s taking it all in.
 
His disillusionment is as great as any player on this roster because when you’ve won a couple of Stanley Cups, you know what to expect and how to get there the next time you’re traded or sign with a new team.
 
While the Flyers weren’t as strong as the Penguins or Rangers in the Atlantic Division, no one would have predicted they’d finish dead last there.
 
“Nobody expected this,” Fedotenko said. “I expected to compete for the Cup. So, but I am sure a lot of people expected that.”
 
The Flyers' lockout-shortened season of unmitigated disaster will end tonight against the Senators. For a number of players, this will be their last game in a Flyers uniform.
 
Players such as Fedotenko.
 
The irony is, of the several players the Flyers signed during a poor offseason last summer, Fedotenko has delivered exactly what management should have expected: a role player with strong defensive characteristics, but one who was not going to make up the significant loss in offense created by Jaromir Jagr’s departure.
 
There are 17 Flyers whose plus/minus this season is in the negative.
 
Fedotenko is not among them. He is plus-8 with 13 points and averaging 12:34 a night on a fourth line with penalty kill responsibilities.
 
“When I watched the Flyers last season, I felt they needed a more defensive player, especially after seeing their Pittsburgh series,” he said.
 
“That is probably something they could have used here. Whether I gave them that, you have to ask them.”
 
He did.
 
Yet the lack of offense, all around, is why the Flyers will seek to replace Fedotenko this summer with a player who can deliver more goals.
 
“I never thought we would not be in the playoffs,” Fedotenko said. “And I feel like I don’t know. I feel a lot of people feel the same way. No one thought we would be out and not fighting for playoffs.
 
“Whatever word you can use, I feel it is pretty shocking looking back. It’s not the season anyone expected.”
 
His agent, Allan Walsh, wanted him to sign with the Flyers last July.
 
“He liked it and he knew what I was looking for,” Fedotenko said. “He thought it was a good opportunity for me.
 
“Then again, nobody thought we would be in this situation right now. It is what it is. No one to blame but ourselves for not playing the way we needed to. There was no consistency to our game.”
 
Fedotenko won a Cup in Tampa and later in Pittsburgh. He played on a bad Islanders team in between.
 
“For me, this is kind of like new territory,” Fedotenko said. “In my 13-year career, the only time I ever missed the playoffs was with the Islanders. I had an MCL knee injury.
 
“When I played, I knew I was competing for the playoffs. Playing for pride to make the playoffs and knowing you are going to be there. This, it’s a first for me. It’s very disappointing.”
 
Loose pucks
Coach Peter Laviolette would not say on Friday who his final starter was in goal but the assumption was Steve Mason, given the rotation at the end. Mason will go against the Senators. This will be Mason’s seventh appearance (sixth start) since joining the Flyers on April 4 in Toronto. ... Ottawa will start Craig Anderson in goal. ... The Flyers will see Sens defenseman Erik Karlsson tonight. Amazing considering his recovery from a sliced Achilles tendon on Feb. 13 against Pittsburgh. He would have been a good candidate for the Masterton, but the voting closed before he came back from his injury. ... Flyers goalie prospect Anthony Stolarz is 12-1-1 in the playoffs with London. ... Flyers president Peter Luukko is on this final road trip.