Here are how the options stand. (1) DP stands on his head, steals a game for the Isles, and Ted Nolan comes out a hero. (2) DP stands on his head, but Sabres still overpower the Isles as a team, and it's a huge risk with little reward. (3) DP comes out rusty, Sabres run over the Isles, and it's a huge risk with NO reward. (4) DP gets hurt (long- or short- term) and Ted Nolan has yet another Really Bad Decision to add to his resume. So what are you going to take? Unless you think #1 is a sure-fire answer, what benefit is there to playing DP? You have to bank everything on the Isles winning tonight in order to justify playing the guy. Sure, you have a lot going for you: he's a huge psychological part for the team and was going for a career year. I understand that. But putting all these alternatives side by side, what are you really winning?
(5) Dubie goes in net. Nolan cleans up the Isles' game, they match Sabres' style of play. No guarantees, but it'll be a tough series regardless. Did any Isles' fans think it would be an EASY series? Of course not. Putting it on DP's health, though, is not a smart move.