The Pittsburgh Penguins survived a tight series with the New York Islanders, but it’s looking like netminder Marc Andre-Fleury is taking the heat for that. Once Tomas Vokoun was give a start between the pipes, the Pens scratched out a series win and now face the upset-minded Ottawa Senators, a series that Vokoun will be starting for Pittsburgh.
“[I’m] just trying to keep it on an even keel and not get too excited about stuff,” Vokoun said. “Only thing that matters is if we get the win in the end.”
This marks a massive shift for the Penguins as Vokoun hasn’t been active in the playoffs like this since the 2007 postseason and Vokoun’s start will mark the first time since 2001 that the Pens will start a playoff series with someone other than Andre-Fleury between the pipes.
But that right was lost when Andre-Fleury failed to stop anything against the Isles and single-handedly let them back into the series and almost allowed an upset of the top seeded Pens. Obviously, other things failed for Pittsburgh but the fact of the matter remains there’s no excuse for the poor performances Andre-Fleury turned in and the netminding job is now Vokoun’s to lose.
Prior to his Game 5 start, Vokoun had been out of playoff action for a half-decade but that rust was shaken off and he helped keep the Pens season afloat. It’s because of that he’ll be starting in net on Tuesday but if we’ve learned one thing this postseason it’s the Pittsburgh net minders aren’t safe and even a master like Andre-Fleury and get flustered and replaced.