Jun 7, 2012, 11:10 AM EST
The Pittsburgh Penguins have a lot of reasons to be happy about inking Tomas Vokoun to a two-year/$4 million contract. Not the least of which is that it gives them an extra option during the postseason.
Marc-Andre Fleury couldn’t get the job done against the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. Their loss wasn’t entirely his fault, but the fact that they stuck with as he gave up 17 goals in Games 1 through 3 speaks volumes about how unwilling they were to give backup Brent Johnson a start.
Fleury ended up playing in all six games, posting a 4.63 GAA and .834 save percentage. That’s the third straight year that Fleury has finished the playoffs with a save percentage below .900.
So at this point, the Penguins might need an alternative to Fleury when the going gets tough. Penguins GM Ray Shero was recently asked if Vokoun could be a viable postseason option if Fleury struggles.
“Yeah,” Shero said. “It depends on how Tomas is playing, certainly, but with a guy like Vokoun, the last five or six years his save percentage is amongst the best in the league, and that’s playing lots of games.
“Internal competition is good. I hope it’s going to (bring out) the best in Marc. And the same thing with Tomas. He’s got a guy like Marc who’s going to push him for the net. That’s what we’re looking for.”
Maybe some competition is all Fleury will need to keep him sharp. Maybe playing in fewer games during the regular season will help. Still, if all else fails, the Penguins now have a plan B they can be comfortable with. That’s more than they had a few months ago.
- Preds’ Neal fined for diving 7
- After surprising start, Flames sign Hartley to multi-year contract extension 3
- Update your wallcharts: Rangers confirm Brassard has mumps 9
- Video: Coyotes defeat Oilers with 0.3 seconds remaining in OT 3
- It’s ‘unlikely’ Duncan Keith has the mumps, says Blackhawks coach 3
- Bjugstad scores the winner as Panthers, Capitals make history with 20-round shootout 20
- Yep, Beau Bennett has the mumps 24
- (Video) PHT Extra: Would the Oilers really trade Taylor Hall? 11
- Russia’s economic crisis causing big trouble for KHL 56
- Eakins calls for patience in Edmonton, whether fans ‘like it or not’ 15