Having dropped the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals at home, the Pittsburgh Penguins now find themselves in a must-win situation in Game 3 at Boston if they want to have any shot at getting back in the series.
The Penguins aren’t even sure who is going to be in net after Monday’s 6-1 debacle. They would be much better off if they went back to Tomas Vokoun, who they pulled in favor of Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury wasn’t any better, as the duo split the six goals evenly between them.
Vokoun’s benching wasn’t fair to him, as he was left hung out to dry on two of the Boston Bruins‘ goals. If they could have pulled a defenseman or two, they may have been better off. Fleury was benched in the first place for a good reason–if he’s having trouble making the easy saves, he can forget making the difficult ones.
Perhaps the Penguins needed some sort of mental lift, but they would be wise to go back to Vokoun for Game 3. Fleury had a clear line of sight at two of the goals he allowed, and let one in despite getting a good piece of it. Blaming the goaltenders won’t get the Penguins anywhere. Regardless of who is in net, the Penguins need to be more vocal defensively. They were running into each other on the ice and leaving people unmarked in Game 2. They looked completely leader-less, like a headless chicken.
Boston looks like a team on a mission. They seem to be more organized, determined and capable. The Penguins have tended to play down to their opponent’s level lately, despite their immense talent. If they let the Bruins get ahead in Game 3, they can kiss their Stanley Cup hopes for this season goodbye.