I had to laugh when I heard Versus' Christine Simpson ask Miroslav Satan how it feels to be making an impact in the playoffs after a rough season, which included being waived and sent to the minors. I laughed not because of the question, but because I knew exactly what the Penguins forward was going to say.
"I'm just taking it day by day," Satan said.
How'd I know it was coming? He said the exact same thing when I asked him the question after Game Four of the Pittsburgh-Washington series.
Satan isn't shy, as Sabres fans may remember. He celebrated goals with rolls on the ice (to get the monkey off his back) and with fake cell phone calls (to talk about a trade that never came). But one thing he never liked talking about was rough patches.
Right now, he doesn't have to.
Satan scored the opening goal of the Eastern Conference finals Monday night, helping Pittsburgh to a 3-2 victory over Carolina. The goal came on a breakaway, and the former perennial scoring leader for the Sabres scored easily.
"He really made me look stupid," Carolina goaltender Cam Ward said.
Satan has a goal and four assists in the past five games, and he went from the sidelines at the opening of the playoffs to ice time with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Not bad.
"Definitely, it feels good for anybody who can contribute," Satan said in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "Game by game the coaches are giving me more tapping on the shoulder, a little more trust. I'm trying to use the time on the ice as well as I can."