They also aren't losing anything with him in the lineup. We know what will happen with ZAR and Lafferty on the ice. What happens if we replace one of them with Bunting? Is he going to improve those lines? He isn't better defensively, he isn't more physical really but he may be better offensively, or at least scores off the coat-tails of the stars better than others do. But what are the cons? To me this isn't playing to not lose, it's playing smart. Bunting hasn't been smart this year and I just won't risk giving him a chance to screw us with a bad call somewhere. We will never be here saying, "if only we had Bunting in for game 5" but there is definitely a high chance that we could be saying "yeah we should have sat Bunting there". All it will take is one non call against him or him getting an embellishment call for it to cost us.
So with that in mind, the risks far out weigh the benefits. If there are even any. Like he's not going to bump Knies out of the 2nd line, nor will he bump Jarnkrok. So he's going to be in the bottom 6 and while he likely is a better option on line 3 with ROR and Acciari, I am totally fine with Kerfoot there. So 4th line? Is he going to offer any more offence playing with Kampf and ZAR/Lafferty than the other two? I don't see it. I would throw him back into the top 6 for the next round though. I just think with his track record, the way Tampa plays and how the refs have called the series, it just doesn't make any sense to play him. No harm comes from sitting him. It won't cost us the game but his antics certainly could. Why even bother. Just sit him for a game, win and then reset.
At least we are finding common ground, I don’t want nor to I believe they would put Bunting on the 4th line, he would be a terrible fit there. I would see Acciari moving down to the 4th line to replace him.
Lafferty didn’t deserve a spot in the lineup in the regular season and certainly hasn’t done anything to stay in the lineup other than taking a very undisciplined penalty. He brings no physical play (players with more hits Knies, Kerfoot, Tavares,
Kampf, ZAR, Matthews, McCabe, Schenn, Acciari) Lafferty with 8.
The only reason I would consider him over ZAR is his speed but even then he does nothing with it.
There is a greater concern over the Gio Holl pairing continuing to get exploited than the potential of a Bunting penalty