First of all, the Pittsburgh Penguins do not have a goalie controversy. It is ridiculous to think that Tomas Vokoun is anything other than the goalie who has stepped up and stepped in net for the Penguins when they needed it in these playoffs the most. He has done a superb job up to this point, but he is and always was the backup for this team and now it is time for him to give the reins back to Marc-Andre Fleury.
Granted, Fleury did not look much better last night after replacing Vokoun in goal when each of them allowed three goals apiece by night’s end; however, Game 2 against the Boston Bruins was Vokoun’s chance to bounce back from the Penguin’s 3-1 loss in Game 1 and he was unable to do so. Fleury, on the other hand, has a few things going for him heading into Game 3.
First, there was no way anyone could have foreseen the disaster that was Game 2, so I believe Fleury was thrown into the backup role without any forewarning or time to get in the mindset that you need to play in a game despite the fact that he has been serving as backup and should be ready. He has been doing so without actually having to get out and mind the net for the past eight playoff games, which has been almost a month.
Secondly, this will be Fleury’s time to redeem himself from the 6-1 loss in Game 2 and we all know he performs much better coming off of a loss especially one that was so devastating. And lastly, Fleury has been in this situation before whereas Vokoun has not. Fleury has taken this team all the way through to a Stanley Cup Final in both 2008 and 2009, so he is a seasoned playoff goaltender and, yes, his playoff stats are less than desirable, but let’s give him some credit. Fleury was a big part of winning the Stanley Cup in 2009 through all four rounds.
Yes, it is definitely time to give this team back to Fleury and afford him the opportunity to be the hero for Pittsburgh because, goodness knows, they need one right now.