Bryan Rust delivers hot take on Capitals' playoff run; flames ex-Pens coach Todd Reirden

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Bryan Rust delivers hot take on Capitals' playoff run

Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Bryan Rust shared his thoughts on the Washington Capitals' postseason performance, addressing their 4-0 series loss against the New York Rangers. He discussed the Penguins’ potential and believes that his team could have fared better than the Caps in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

During an interview with streamer Ninja, Rust discussed the Penguins’ playoff chances and insisted that they would have come out on top against the Rangers had they qualified for Round 1 instead of the Capitals.

“I think we would've beat the Rangers," Bryan Rust said. "Oh yeah. Depending on a couple factors, but I think we would've beat them.”

He mentioned that the Penguins would have had a more favorable matchup against the NY team. While they were 1-2-0 against the Rangers this season, Rust seemed optimistic about facing them.

"It is a matchup thing," he said. "You look across the league, and there's just teams that you do well against and just teams that you don't.
“And I feel like the Rangers would have been good for us, if we could've figured out our penalty kill against their power play. If we could've figured out our special teams a little bit, I think we would've had a chance."

Bryan Rust then admitted the Penguins' power play had been weak throughout the season, subtly criticizing former associate coach Todd Reirden. Rust said:

"Our power play was absolute trash all year." [H/T Hockey News]

The Penguins’ power play saw a poor success rate of 15.3 percent during the season, ranking them 30th out of all NHL teams. Consequently, Reirden was fired on May 3, two weeks after the team failed to make it to the postseason.

Fans react to Bryan Rust’s comments on winning against Rangers

Fans were quick to react to Bryan Rust’s bold take on X/Twitter. Some supported the player’s claim and agreed that the Penguins could have provided tougher competition to the Rangers:

"They were the hottest team in hockey at the end of the season, they definitely would've put up a better fight at least," wrote one fan.
“He’s not totally wrong. I think it would’ve went 7 the way the Penguins played the last 2 weeks of the season,” a fan said.
"I agree!!" Another fan chimed in.
“Absolutely true, woulda went 7 gms. Rust with the winner in OT. Sydney Sweeney would've been at the game & went to meet the hero in the dressing room afterward. By today's date in this alternate timeline, Rust/Sweeney would be lovingly calling them Rusteeney,” wrote one fan.

Meanwhile, some fans disagreed with Bryan Rust’s assessment. They believed the Penguins too, like the Capitals, would have suffered a series loss against the Rangers:

"Dude....just stop. Pittsburgh and Washington are pretty much the same team. It would have been a sweep, too."
“Pens gave a good run the last 2 weeks, but seriously this has got to be one of their worst seasons I have seen in a long time… no way they would of beaten NY 1st round this year.. No way. Time to overhaul that team,” commented one user.
“I'm sure he was just responding to a direct question and most pro athletes have that kind of confidence in themselves. But dude needs to have more situational awareness. The Pens 100% deserved to miss the playoffs, so just keep answers like this to yourself,” wrote another fan.

Now the Penguins will be looking to regroup in the offseason, build a solid lineup, and come back next season as title contenders.

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