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Bylsma won’t name starting goalie for Game 5

May 7, 2013, 10:40 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury silenced the New York Islanders in Game 1 of this series, but he’s allowed 14 goals over the last three contests.

With his team already down 5-4 late in tonight’s game, Fleury seemed to reach rock bottom by allowing a weak goal to the Islanders’ Casey Cizikas.

You can see that below:

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Fleury also left plenty to be desired in the Penguins’ first-round exit against the Philadelphia Flyers last year. After that, Pittsburgh acquired Tomas Vokoun, to give them a viable backup.

So is it time for Plan B?

“We’re not going to talk about our staring goaltender for Game 5 right now,” Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said, according to the Penguins.

Although Bylsma did concede the obvious, “End of the day they ended up getting six goals on us and that’s too many.”

Even a team with as many offensive weapons as the Penguins can’t always overcome defensive and goaltending problems.

  1. girouxed - May 7, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    If they put Fleury in again then Ill be surprised.

    He looks like a repeat from last quarterfinals.. which turned out ohhhh so wonderful for Philly.

    Go get em NYI.

    • burgh916 - May 8, 2013 at 12:43 AM

      I’ll be surprised if he isn’t in.
      In seasons past they only pulled him when series were out of reach, not saying Brent Johnson was anything to fall back on (although he was my favorite player we’ve had.) He still got us a win the game he played in. What did they do? The very next game they switched back to Fleury and he ended up giving 4 goals on 12 shots or something ridiculous.
      I wish this organization had a pair and sat their “starter” because of poor play. They play this guy just because he’s been “the guy” for so long. Look at Luongo, his play was slacking, he found himself riding the pine. Fleury needs a nice reality check. Sure his regular season stats may look nice, but put anyone in net for us and I’m sure they will. He has some good games in the regular season, but the NBC announcer hit the nail on the head, and I was thinking this the other day before this game. “You won’t see a 2-1, 3-2 game this series.”
      There’s too much catching up to do on soft goals.

      • valoisvipers - May 8, 2013 at 2:39 AM

        If you don’t start Vokoun the next game then when can you start him? Dig the hole deeper then put all that extra pressure on him in a win or go home game. Now’s the time to start Vokoun. MAF has looked shaky giving numerous soft and bad goals just as he did against Philly last year and we all know how that turned out.

      • burgh916 - May 8, 2013 at 3:36 AM

        Totally agree. Watching every regular season/playoff game I just know that they let this guy “get away with murder.” They treat him with kid gloves, there’s been so many times where he’s just out of it, yet they don’t make the switch, and you see “Fleury in net tonight!”
        The Pens as a whole do need to look way more lively, but in all honesty how can you with the goals allowed? It’s freakin’ embarrassing. Shero brought Vokoun in for this reason, and it’s just so sad that they have all of this talent, that is being flushed down because of this guy cracking.

      • jpelle82 - May 8, 2013 at 8:59 AM

        vokoun will be in, he just wont let anyone know until tomorrow. he would be dumb to say otherwise, the islanders obviously have a plan for fleury. keep shooting from eveywhere, hell he has allowed more goals from behind the net than in front of it

    • andrewproughcfe - May 8, 2013 at 1:43 AM

      Changing the goalie wont change the outcome if the Pens continue to play such horrible team defense. The defenders were consistently collapsing back into the net area and falling all over Fleury rather than physically and aggressively putting bodies on Islander attackers.

      I’d like to see what Vokoun can do, but the Pens need to pull it together on defense or it won’t matter.

      • hockeywithdrawal - May 8, 2013 at 7:41 AM

        I’d agree, on all counts. I’d add that they do need to sit him a game at least and let him compose himself. Bring in a psychiatrist, for gad’s sake, or a priest, for that matter. I’ve given the benefit of the doubt, but it’s clear he’s rattled. And this isn’t the first time the Pens have played the game they’re playing right now.

      • bgrillz - May 8, 2013 at 8:03 AM

        The defense was much better this game. 4 of those 6 goals were inexcusable. He looked awful out there. I think the college goalie they just signed stops all four of those.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 8, 2013 at 5:43 AM

      pretty hard to name a starting goalie when you don’t have one ! OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH !

      • fbothharbaughs - May 8, 2013 at 9:49 AM

        This coming from the fan of a team that hasn’t had one since….

        Ron Hextall?


      • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 8, 2013 at 7:09 PM

        What was wrong with Roman Cechmanek hahahaha !

      • fbothharbaughs - May 9, 2013 at 10:50 AM

        Or Bobrovsky?

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 8, 2013 at 6:31 AM

      Has anybody seen hockeywithdrawl he was real active on here yesterday

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 8, 2013 at 6:34 AM

      Hockey withdrawl come out, come out, wherever your are ahahhahahahahahahahahah !

      • hockeywithdrawal - May 8, 2013 at 7:57 AM

        Sorry bub – was with your mother. Yep, bad game on the Pens, series tied 2-2. Islanders playing tough, that’s for sure.

        Did you see the goal by Giroux, though? No?

        Series tied, 2-2. Back to the Burgh, we go.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 8, 2013 at 9:32 AM

        No i did not see claudes goal ur father was busy buffing my norris. Trophy at the time

      • fbothharbaughs - May 8, 2013 at 9:53 AM

        Hockeywithdrawal, Giroux & Hartnell just finished up on the back nine and are headed to get perms…

  2. cheesesteak75 - May 7, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    Vokoun needs to play. 18 saves on 24 shots won’t get it done. Not all of the goals were Fleury’s fault, but he wasn’t good enough. Now is the time for the leaders to step up on this team too. This team should respond well and come out on fire at home.

    • girouxed - May 7, 2013 at 10:54 PM

      Is that username supposed to not make sense?

  3. girouxed - May 7, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    That 6th goal was really really bad he looked like Bryzgalov in his apex state of atrociousness.

    • handsofsweed - May 8, 2013 at 6:58 AM

      Worse. I literally watched Fleury CLIMB UP THE GD GOALPOST TO AVOID MAKING A SAVE. Done. Vokoun time and watch it get straightened out. Flower’s mental meltdown is literally destroying this team’s chances. But Vokoun is a vet. A mentally healthy (in hockey terms) one at that.

  4. burgh916 - May 7, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    It better be Vokoun or I probably shouldn’t even bother watching.
    What’s the point of watching year after year – and having your “all star “vezina” goalie” crack under pressure every time.
    I won’t accept any Fleury fans excuse, it’s just too embarrassing right now and you should be embarrassed.

    • chanceoffleury1 - May 8, 2013 at 1:38 AM

      Well some of us just enjoy hockey, so we watch because of that. It’s easier to root for a winning team, but if you’re trying to tell me you wouldn’t watch the Pens if they were the 8 seed in a series and down 0-3 in the series then you’re the reason people hate Pens fans. Do I like the fact the Pens are a hot mess right now? No. But if this was happening to the Blackhawks I’d be laughing and rooting for a Minnesota upset. Everyone loves an underdog. It’s even easier to get behind one when they are outplaying a dream team that was supposed to be unstoppable.

      I still have high hopes for this team and think they needed a swift kick in the a$$ to truly reach potential. A change in goal and a return home will hopefully ignite the fire that burns the rest of the way to a finals appearance. Fleury and Bylsma better hope so more than anybody if they want to keep their jobs…….

      • burgh916 - May 8, 2013 at 2:00 AM

        Completely agree!! I hope my comment didn’t come off as “I won’t watch because we’re losing.”
        I was more or less trying to show my distaste for a team that has the talent to take us so far every year, yet (certain factors of their game) makes us choke every time. I watch every Pens game, regular season or playoffs, and I’ll continue to do so, just after tonight I’m just fed up with the lackluster first round performances for the past 3 years or so.

  5. stakex - May 7, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    I’m still trying to figure out exactlly what Fleury was doing on that last goal. Its such an easy play, and he gave a text book example of how to screw it up. This entire series hes had happy feet, and just looks lost in the net… much like he did last year in the playoffs.

    I don’t know if Vokoun would be much better, but theres no way he could be any worse…. I’d be pretty suprised to see Fleury next game.

    • chanceoffleury1 - May 8, 2013 at 1:46 AM

      If you watch the goal, you can pinpoint the exact moment where he just totally gives up on the play. I can eventually forgive flukey goals due to bad positioning on his part, but it’s hard to defend a guy who just so obviously just totally gave up. I mean, the least he could do is preserve some dignity as he completes his meltdown.

    • steelpenbucs87 - May 8, 2013 at 9:42 AM

      It’s amazing that I almost pity the guy. He’s clearly lost the mental side of the game completely. He was fighting off pucks well before the 6th goal, and the 6th was clearly a case of him blanking on what the heck to do – “Should I go for a poke? Should I try to keep flush with the post? Should I try to come across with him in the butte-oh damn it I’m in the net with the puck.”

      I have been a Fleury defender for a long time, primarily because of his play in the 09 cup run and his play down the stretch of the ’10 season. But he’s just completely lost his mental edge. It’s like a good golfer getting the yips or a catcher who can’t make the throw to the pitcher anymore.

      I’m not ready to say he’s done completely, but I just don’t know what to do anymore. Do you ride-or-die with Fleury in five just to put a nail in it/hope he pulls out? Or do you roll with Vokoun and hope that he can play well the rest of the way…

  6. jimw81 - May 7, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    Bylsma and team usa better not be mention for Olympics in 2014

  7. Stiller43 - May 7, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Should be voky. Fleurys been god awful.

  8. pitpenguinsrulez - May 7, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    I’m still pissed with tonight’s game. Fleury is just not money in the playoffs. He cracks under pressure big time. He may be great in the regular season but come playoff time he’s a different goalie. If we lose this series then Fleury will be the one that gets bought out. I can see Hartzell from Quinnepac starting to next to Vokoun in net for the Pens next year. Vokoun has to start in net on Thursday. There’s no excuse for him not to. If Fleury starts in net on Thursday and gives up a goal or two first then all of Pittsburgh will want his head. Losing this series would follow a long history of flops/choke jobs in Pittsburgh Sports between the Pens Pirates and Steelers. Unlike some of the “Pens fans” on here who say they won’t be watching on Thursday I will be watching the Pens play from my college dorm because whether the Pens are first or dead last I will be watching them regardless!

  9. mclovinhockey - May 7, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Live by the goalie for by the goalie, last thing you want to do is make MAF lose confidence in himself like this.
    If so the next 5 years for Pitt, playoffs won’t last long.

    • burgh916 - May 8, 2013 at 12:47 AM

      They say that about him every year, “Don’t want to pull him too soon, you can’t go back to him.”
      That’s A-Ok in my book. Vokoun is more than capable.
      That’s been brought up the past few series he’s slumped in. The first time it was said “you can’t pull him too soon he’ll lose confidence if you do,” we lost. Season later the same, season after that, oh and now we’re in for another one. Doesn’t look like it makes a difference when we pull the guy, just do it.

      • 19to77 - May 8, 2013 at 2:45 AM

        Yup. His save percentage has plunged through the last three games of this series. Probable indication that the Isles got into his head in the second and third games. Time to switch ‘tenders.

      • burgh916 - May 8, 2013 at 3:32 AM

        Yup. I was reading an article on switching it up for Game 5. I knew Fleury has really done bad lately, but the guy threw out this number… 40 goals allowed in his last 10 playoff games. 14 on 102 (104?) shots just this series.
        I don’t understand why they treat him with kid gloves. Look at Luongo, Fleury has arguably had worse regular seasons, and playoffs than him, yet Luongo chokes the last few and everyone wants him out, which he looks like he will be. Hell, they already placed him on the pine. Just because Fleury is a goalie doesn’t mean he should be untouchable. He needs a reality check, and Vokoun is more than capable to help us out. Even if he doesn’t do too good, it’s worth a shot.

  10. taintedlombardis - May 8, 2013 at 1:09 AM

    How come PHT hasn’t addressed the officiating or,the cross checking of a ref? Oh….that’s right…

    • hockeywithdrawal - May 8, 2013 at 7:48 AM

      Bad on both ends – please don’t even TRY saying the Islanders weren’t ‘evened out’. I saw several blantant penalties that the Pens should have been called for – and I saw just as many that the Islanders weren’t called for. They let them play on both sides.

  11. hockeywithdrawal - May 8, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    They need to at least sit him a game and let him recompose himself. This is NOT a bad goalie – but it’s clear he’s rattled.

    It’s also clearly not all on Fleury – some of those guys need to drop the arrogance and play simple – no one needs to see a highlight reel goal right now. We’re just giving the puck away – playoff teams don’t do that. The official box score listed Malkin with 0 giveaways last night…and if anyone believes that give me a call for a real estate deal.

    This next game is actually going to be game 11 of a very long playoff sequence…same type of game in each game, with one or two bright spots. At some point, you have to look at why nothing is changing, coaching wise. It’s been the same damn game, over and over. Coach, Dan.

  12. bgrillz - May 8, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    I know that Fleury’s issues are between his ears, not between the pipes. You can’t be a bum, and have great regular seasons. You also can’t be a bum, and lead your team to two Stanley Cup final appearances, and win one. You would think if it’s just a pressure thing, he would have buckled in game 7. He didn’t. He was outstanding vs the Wings. But ever since, he has just been terrible in the post season, sans that Lightning series(Pens just had no scoring ability). I love MAF, but it’s time to take a seat. His struggles have been purely mental. Vokuun has been great vs this same Islanders team. So I don’t worry with him in there. And if Vokuun wins, you ride him until he falters.

    • hockeywithdrawal - May 8, 2013 at 8:21 AM

      I agree – let him decompress, or compose himself, or get it together in general.

  13. pastabelly - May 8, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    He’s a bigger head case than Luoungo.

    • fbothharbaughs - May 8, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      Not quite, Luongo’s not a champion…

      • axisofweasels - May 8, 2013 at 10:31 AM


      • fbothharbaughs - May 8, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        Not sure I understand the reference, sir

  14. gret9 - May 8, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    I’m not a Penguins fan, but I did feel bad for Fleury, he just looked completely lost and got worse as the game went on. Watching him I had flashbacks to just about every game Huet played between the pipes for the Blackhawks.

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