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Playoffs Tonight: It’s time for Vokoun

May 9, 2013, 8:04 AM EDT


The San Jose Sharks were the first team to advance to the second round. Will the Ottawa Senators and Chicago Blackhawks earn their spots tonight?

Please keep in mind that you can watch all these games online in addition to the channels listed below:

Game 5: Montreal Canadiens host Ottawa Senators (7:00 p.m. ET, CNBC)
Ottawa leads series 3-1

Montreal took a 2-0 lead in Game 4 on Tuesday, but a questionable goal by Ottawa’s Mika Zibanejad turned the tide and led to the Senators’ 3-2 overtime victory.

On top of that, the Canadiens have lost captain Brian Gionta for the rest of the playoffs. They might also be without starting goaltender Carey Price after he was injured on Tuesday.

Even with all of that, they are still confident going into tonight’s contest.

“Quite frankly, I want to beat these guys,” Canadiens defenseman PK Subban said. “We have another opportunity tomorrow to play, and we can beat these guys. We’re better.”

Game 5: Pittsburgh Penguins host New York Islanders (7:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Series tied at 2-2

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has struggled mightily in this series, especially in Game 4, so it’s no surprise that Tomas Vokoun will get the nod tonight.

Vokoun had an incredible 0.90 GAA and .970 save percentage in four games against the Islanders in four regular season games, so there is reason to be optimistic about this switch. At the same time, the Islanders have faced long odds this entire series and that hasn’t stopped them.

“We’re hoping they’re a little rattled, a little worried about us,” Islanders defenseman Matt Carkner told Newsday, “because we think we have every opportunity to win this series. The more frustrated they get, the better it is for us. I’m sure they’d love to be up 3-1 right now, but that’s hockey.”

Game 5: Chicago Blackhawks host Minnesota Wild (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Chicago leads 3-1

Speaking of goaltending, while we know Vokoun will replace Fleury tonight, Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo won’t reveal his starter or backup. Niklas Backstrom (lower body) and Josh Harding (leg) are both questionable, so it’s possible that Darcy Kuemper will end up starting.

That would be a lot of pressure for Kuemper, who has played in just seven NHL games, including his brief appearance in Game 4, but regardless of the Wild’s situation, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville will expect a lot from his team.

“Yesterday’s game is probably the minimal standard we should be looking for,” Quenneville said the day after they earned a 3-0 victory in Game 4.

If Chicago defeats Minnesota then they’ll become just the second Presidents’ Trophy winner in five years to advance past the first round.

  1. pens87 - May 9, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    Will certainly be an interesting night in Pitt. I hope Volkun plays with the same poise and confidence that he showed all year long and does not let the pressure of the situation get to him. Islanders have all the momentum right now and we need a big win to steal it back. I hope the team is refocused and comes out fired up and ready to play some tough hockey.

    Hats off to the islanders fans for making their arena very loud for their home team to feed off of. I hope that is echoed by fans attending the game tonight, I did not think our arena was loud enough in game 2.

    • hockeywithdrawal - May 9, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      Here’s a scary thought…the NYI’s still hold the rights to Tim Thomas. After seeing how well they are doing offensively, how awesome would this series have been with a Thomas/Nabokov duo if Thomas was actually playing this year?

      • pens87 - May 9, 2013 at 9:42 AM

        As a pens fan…I’m definitely happy it’s Nabokov in net haha.

        But there is no doubt that the right goaltender behind a stronger defense would make playoffs on Long Island very common in the coming years. Their offense is so young, talented, and quick that they are going to be just fine.

  2. colossal87 - May 9, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Vokoun is a proven gamechanger against Schlong Island, can’t wait to see him get another shutout

    • laxman1944 - May 9, 2013 at 8:45 AM

      No respect for the opponent……..not good…….not good at all………Shutout huh…..56 to 0??….Sid get 45 goals eh??…….

    • steelpenbucs87 - May 9, 2013 at 9:11 AM

      I have a bunch of friends from Long Island, and they’re huge hockey/Islanders fans. Respectable guys and great friends. In other words, I am going to be stealing Schlong Island and throwing it around in a lot of trash talking texts tonight.

      Vokoun has had good success against the Isles but this is a different monster altogether. I think the biggest addition from Vokoun might not actually be his play, but the fact that the team has routinely played a more disciplined game when he is in net – something we’ve lacked across the last three games.

      • laxman1944 - May 9, 2013 at 10:02 AM

        Than have at my man…….Schlong’s away!!

  3. pitpenguinsrulez - May 9, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    Anyone who says the Islanders have great fans need to get their head of their rear end and realize that they were dead last in percentage full at 83% and they only came out once this team got into the playoffs. Great fans where were they from Fall 2007 to April 2013? Yes their similar to the Pens in a way in terms of fans I get that!

    Hopefully Vokoun comes to play tonight along with the whole team. So lets go Pens

    • laxman1944 - May 9, 2013 at 8:48 AM

      And where exactly was your stellar fanbase before Sid and the boys came along?????

      So you get that yet you feel the need to bust their stones???

      Need a hug??

    • steelpenbucs87 - May 9, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      Dude come the eff on – you’re going to pull THAT card…. I’ve given economics lessons on this site trying to explain why the Pens experienced the exact same phenomenon. Cheese and crackers man…

      • pitpenguinsrulez - May 9, 2013 at 9:26 AM

        And who exactly are you referring to? I know about the struggles of the Pens from Fall 2001 to Parts of 2006. Hell I even know about bankruptcies of the 70s and 80s. Gee I’ve only lived in the Pittsburgh region since I was born in 93

      • steelpenbucs87 - May 9, 2013 at 9:54 AM

        I’m referring to you. I just don’t understand the point you’re trying to make, especially if you acknowledge the issues that the Pens had along the same lines. Are you saying that Pens fans disappeared and that ‘s why the stands weren’t full during the Penguins lean years? If that’s the case then you’re blatantly ignoring a TON of other social and economic issues that the entire city was facing during that time. Same could be said for the Long Island region.

        I’m just saying that you can’t condemn a fan base completely based on its ability or inability to throw $200+ for two people to attend a three hour hockey game….

      • laxman1944 - May 9, 2013 at 10:07 AM

        You’re right….it’s a bit tired…..agreed……it was a pre-coffee… apologies

      • pitpenguinsrulez - May 9, 2013 at 10:18 AM

        I’m not ignoring the stuff on the economics but ill gladly take you up on your offer for the Economic lesson. Maybe I can use it in my Economics class at 11.

    • wicky888 - May 9, 2013 at 12:26 PM

      Hello kettle, this is the pot ……. you’re black

  4. c1md6 - May 9, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    You do realize that the penguins were going bankrupt due to lack of fans support, until they got Crosby in the draft? Mario Lemieux had to come out of retirement to try and save the franchise from folding, so don’t start throwing stones glass house because 90% of these penguin fans are post Crosby fans.

    • hockeywithdrawal - May 9, 2013 at 8:39 AM

      c1 – not to turn this into a crap game anymore than it is – but lack of fan support wasn’t what bankrupted the Pens. I do understand your comment, though – but I’d ignore whoever that was – I’m not sure a real Pens fan would go there.

    • aso513 - May 9, 2013 at 8:43 AM

      How long are you and all others like you going to bring this up? They didn’t move and they sell out every single game. The bankruptcy argument is outdated and irrelevant, but if it gives you a reason to discredit the support from Pittsburgh for the Penguins, good for you.

      • stakex - May 9, 2013 at 6:31 PM

        They didn’t move and they sell out every game because they suddenly became a contender. As soon as the Pens had some off years and little star power… their attendence dropped and they almost went belly up. Face it, Pittsburgh fans are “good times only” fans when it comes to hockey.

      • aso513 - May 14, 2013 at 8:27 AM

        You have no point man you are just trying to discredit a good fanbase out of jealousy.

    • ibieiniid - May 9, 2013 at 8:57 AM

      I was thinking of typing the same to him until I read the last sentence of his first paragraph. He DOES realize that…. but is just calling out the Isles as well. He’s got a point though…. too bad nobody on this thread said the Isles have great fans.

      • ibieiniid - May 9, 2013 at 8:59 AM

        I’ll revise: Nobody on this thread said the Isles have great fans as of my last refresh. I posted that comment and like 10 more comments were posted while I was typing that one. somebody may have said it by now.

      • pitpenguinsrulez - May 9, 2013 at 9:32 AM

        If you read the first post on this article you’ll see that pens87 says something about the Islander fan and I quote “hats off to the Isles fans for making it loud” hence that says hey New York great fan support meanwhile they weren’t there all season long. Howard Baldwin and his group helped to screw up the Pens during the Mid to Late 90s and in turn those effects lasted through the early parts of the 2000s

      • ibieiniid - May 9, 2013 at 9:38 AM

        ooooooooh you’re good at backtracking.

        he’s saying nothing about the fanbase except that they were loud for that particular game. and just because you have some made up excuse for people not going to pens games through the year, you think your fanbase is historically better than theirs? good luck preaching that.

      • pitpenguinsrulez - May 9, 2013 at 10:14 AM

        Good excuse? I take that as a compliment thanks I’m just stating an obvious fact slick

  5. burgh916 - May 9, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    We need a huge win here tonight. I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll come out as a different team. The old guys have too much to lose to just continue “going through the motions.”

    Or maybe I’m just optimistic.

    Vokoun gets his opportunity of a lifetime. It was said throughout by the players, that a speech that he had in the locker room after the 6-5 loss to Philly sparked the team onto the streak. If that’s true, why wasn’t he starting already haha. Shero brought Vokoun in for this reason, to give us a very VERY capable “backup.”

    I wouldn’t say Fleurys days are numbered in Pitt unfortunately, however if we do advance to the next round, and they do go with Fleury for that first game, and he cracks yet again… Then I see him gone.

    Looking forward to an excellent game tonight!

    • hockeywithdrawal - May 9, 2013 at 8:43 AM

      No matter what, it certainly gives the team a boost that it seemed to need badly.

      Fleury’s signed through 14/15, and I’d betcha they keep him the whole time – they’ve already seen that he’s not just a good goalie, he’s a good PLAYOFF goalie, but something needs ‘unstuck’ in his head. If it doesn’t get unstuck before his contract’s up then you’re right.

      • burgh916 - May 9, 2013 at 8:54 AM

        Totally agree, a great analogy with him,
        “When it rains, it pours.”
        Such a huge game for us tonight, the team plays way better D with Vokoun in net too I feel.
        Fleury may be too timid? Where as Vokoun seems like he’d tell them what they need to work on, who knows. I felt the same with Johnny, he was always commanding the D.

        Lets hope for our blood pressures sake this game isn’t a thriller hahah.

      • sportsfreak13 - May 9, 2013 at 8:59 AM

        The crazy thing is Pittsburgh has a mini playoff goalie controversy right now but Fleury’s numbers are better then Nabakov’s currently. Another crazy thing is Crosby was accused of diving by islander fans in game 3 but in game 4 the islanders were guilty of the diving call. This series is fun and I’m glad the islanders didn’t just roll over after game 1. This is by far the best time of the year.

      • biffnasty - May 9, 2013 at 9:50 AM

        Did you really say Fleury is good playoff goalie? Lol have you watched any of their playoff games the past 2 years?

      • hockeywithdrawal - May 9, 2013 at 10:00 AM

        Yes, I did…and there’s definitely a problem there. He’s already proven himself as a good playoff goalie, with two back-to-back final appearances and some DAMN good performances, outside of the past two years, to hold his team in games. That was 08 and 09, so I’m assuming you started watching hockey sometime after that?

      • biffnasty - May 9, 2013 at 10:44 AM

        Yes, you are right. By your flawed logic and lack of hockey intelligence, Scott Gomez is a goal scoring/points machine bc in 05-06 he netted 33..idiot.

      • hockeywithdrawal - May 9, 2013 at 10:57 AM

        Um, no. doing it once as a scorer and doing it repeatedly as a goalie are two different things. He has not been a good playoff goalie lately, and that needs fixed, if it can be – but to discredit the work he’s already done in the playoffs is short-sighted.

      • jpelle82 - May 9, 2013 at 10:48 AM

        biff – did you watch any of his games in the years before – when he took them to the finals and then again to win it?

      • biffnasty - May 9, 2013 at 10:49 AM

        This also means that Mark Sanchez bringing the Jets to back to back AFC championship games, he is one of the best playoff quaterbacks. Good logic bonerwithdrawl

      • hockeywithdrawal - May 9, 2013 at 10:59 AM

        Actually never said he’s one of the best, either. You don’t need one of the best to win a cup – you need a good one. I’m not sure you should be bringing the word ‘logic’ into your argument (especially in the same sentence as bonerwithdrawal). Nice though!

    • laxman1944 - May 9, 2013 at 10:12 AM

      If i’m a Pitt fan, you can’t help but be worried a bit. The way they closed out game 4 was shameful. Your boys need to keep their heads screwed on straight.

      The Isle. is focused and hungry……no quit in those guys.

      Vokoun lets in a softie…..oh boy.

      He is coming into a PRESSURE packed game. As we all know game 5 playoffs is not October.

      • burgh916 - May 9, 2013 at 10:43 AM

        No doubt, they need to come out swinging.
        Vokoun might let in a softie, and he might not do too good, but it’s a move that had to be done… He can’t possibly do any worse. If anything, he can gobble up a rebound, rather than Fleurys pinball flippers.

      • laxman1944 - May 9, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        Absolutley, kind of feel bad for Flower……that last one the other night was brutal. I’m sure it’s killing him but you had to sit him for the good of the team moving forward.

        So, Vokoun loses tonight……back to Flower??

  6. hockeywithdrawal - May 9, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    This game is so effing important for the Pens…I hope the right team shows up tonight! GO PENS!

  7. myroncopesflask - May 9, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    Well it’s time for me to eat a little crow as I was sure this series is done in 5. I sure hope Vokoun can do what he was brought to the Pens to do. Flower is clearly a mental midget and hopefully that soft ass goal he gave up to seal the deal in game 4 also sealed the deal on the project to recover his confidence.
    If Michael Therrien was fired months after taking a less talented team to the SCF Disco Dan’s job needs to be tied to this years playoff run. Ray Shero has done everything he can to aquire every top free agent and deadline addition over the past 4 years and the Pens stepping on their pecker every year. Let’s just hope the Pens didn’t wait too long to make this goalie change. 1975

    • ibieiniid - May 9, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      1975, you say?

      Kansas City.

      • sportsfreak13 - May 9, 2013 at 9:13 AM

        Is that where Giroux is vacationing right now during the playoffs?? I think you clicked the wrong tab, your looking for GolfTalkCentral.

      • ibieiniid - May 9, 2013 at 9:30 AM

        yep, lets talk more about the Flyers. this guy says 1975 when the flyers haven’t played in a couple weeks…. yet, if PHT put up another Flyers post or if I were to say something about the Flyers, every pens fan would be all over me with “FLYERS ARE OUT, CAN WE TALK ABOUT SOME TEAMS THAT ARE STILL IN!?” so I’m talking about the Penguins. and their near move to KC. if you’re talking about something that happened in 1975, why can’t I talk about something that happened more recently?

      • sportsfreak13 - May 9, 2013 at 9:38 AM

        You do realize that 75% of the comments on pens articles in the post season have been from flyer fans. I don’t know why you guys are so obsessed with us but you are. Every time there’s a owns article (flyers are no longer relevant) it turns onto pens vs flyers. That 1975 is just a preumtive strike because we know EVERY flyer fan clicks and reads these articles, drooling, and waiting for a pens loss. It’s sad. I don’t see you posting on rangers vs caps, or sens vs habs, just pens vs isles. Sad.

      • ibieiniid - May 9, 2013 at 9:43 AM

        even if Flyers fans read and comment on the stories more, we aren’t talking about Flyers. talking s*** about the Pens. just because the team is out doesn’t mean our fanbase doesn’t hate yours anymore.

        and I think you should re-evaluate which articles I’ve been posting on. I’ve watched more DUCKS games than Pens games this postseason, and ducks aren’t even on til 10. also, I don’t discriminate which series I’m commenting on.

        and if you’re gonna put out “preumtive” strikes…. don’t complain about every Pens post turning into a flyers v pens…. because you’re the guilty one.

      • sportsfreak13 - May 9, 2013 at 9:59 AM

        I’m just saying it doesn’t have to turn into pens vs flyers all the time. I miss the days when people actually commented on hockey rather then just throwing insults back and forth. I know I have been guilty of the very same thing, but its really annoying when after a pens loss you come on here to make logical points and you see 7-8 flyer fans posting 30+ comments of nonsense. Id rather it be pens vs isles (2 teams that made the playoffs) and not pens vs flyers. Regardless im enjoying these playoffs. Fun times to be a fan of one of the 15 teams left.

      • ibieiniid - May 9, 2013 at 10:04 AM

        skip ahead one post, to the Iginla one. 5th comment and its reply. just another example of why these turn into Pens vs Flyers. a Flyers FAN says something about the Penguins. Penguins fan replies with anti-Flyers comment. who started the Pens/Flyers argument? because I believe the Flyers fan was trying to start an Isles/Pens argument.

        scroll back up to the top of this comment. guy makes points about Penguins. throws 1975 at the end for no apparent reason. who started the Pens/Flyers argument?

        and you say we’re the obsessed ones.

      • sportsfreak13 - May 9, 2013 at 10:24 AM

        Well you are reading and posting comments on articles that have nothing to do with your team sooooo ya.

      • laxman1944 - May 9, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        Freak……YOU are the one who through Giroux’s name out there…….

      • ibieiniid - May 9, 2013 at 10:31 AM

        oh so because my team is out I can’t comment anymore til next year.

        Hockey fan first. Flyers fan second. by the end of this postseason, I’ll have watched more playoff games than I did Flyers games in the reg season. I can comment if I want to.

      • sportsfreak13 - May 9, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        I know after Kansas City which came after 1975. My point remains you flyer fans commenting on articles that have nothing to do with you is what started this whole mess. You can point fingers all you want but the facts are its Pens vs Isles and flyer fans feel the need to inject themselves in the conversation regardless.

      • sportsfreak13 - May 9, 2013 at 10:35 AM

        No you can comment, Im just asking that you don’t start or Contribute to silly pens vs flyer trash talk when we can be conversing about actually hockey.

      • ibieiniid - May 9, 2013 at 10:36 AM


        “Is that where Giroux is vacationing right now during the playoffs?? I think you clicked the wrong tab, your looking for GolfTalkCentral.”

        don’t tell me what to do when you can’t even take your own advice. done with this convo. you’ve proved my point.

      • sportsfreak13 - May 9, 2013 at 10:39 AM

        haha I was fighting a troll at his own game to make my point. Have a nice day buddy. See you on the next pens loss article, where im sure you will be gracing us with your ever so intelligent comments.

      • fbothharbaughs - May 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        Fact: 1975 is the last year your goons won a championship.

        Fiction: the Pens moved to Kansas City.

      • phillyphanatic77 - May 9, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        Sportsfreak I usually agree with a lot of your points but it’s completely ridiculous to say that the Pens-Flyers obsession is a one way street. Take a look back at the most recent Flyers article and you will see the usual suspects spewing the same old Flyers hate. Atleast half the comments are from Pens fans. It’s a constant back and forth, neither side is close to innocent. I’d be lying if I said Flyers fans weren’t enjoying the Pens recent struggles, however it’s no different than the pleasure Pens fans took in our struggles for the entire season.

      • sportsfreak13 - May 9, 2013 at 11:05 AM

        I get that. Its these darn playoffs, they get me all touchy/nervous. I just want the constant 1975 vs bankruptcy thing to end it REALLY annoys me. My apalogies ibienid.

      • laxman1944 - May 9, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        No Sh*t Philly, The Holmgren /Giroux article from last week was nuts at the venom being spewed at the first year captain…….

        I’m not sitting on the side line for that horse sh*t…….

    • hockeywithdrawal - May 9, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      The last three games haved looked like the same game over and over…and there have been no coaching/strategy changes to the game the Pens are playing at all. Just a goalie change – so I agree with you.

    • coopjr - May 9, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      Flyers fans can’t help it if some Pens fans are so insecure about their team that winning a cup a few years back isn’t enough. They still feel the need to remind us that it been far too long for the orange and black.

      We are aware my flightless bird loving friends.

      All too aware…

  8. jonkchar - May 9, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    lol this has turned into ProVokounTalk :)

  9. myroncopesflask - May 9, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Why is 1975 such a big deal to Flyers fans? How do you know that is not the year I was born. It
    could mean anything.. Maybe it is how identify my posts so I can to a quick “Ctrl-F) to check up on replies to my comments.
    Most likely it is my way of sniffing out trolls that are butt hurt because Gerald Ford was in office the last time they won the cup. 1975

    • laxman1944 - May 9, 2013 at 12:33 PM

      I’m pretty new hear but the 1975 thing is comical and tired really.

      You need to work on more material to be honest.

      Come on Myron, put some thought into a reply not just throw out 1975……ya hack.

  10. myroncopesflask - May 9, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    If you actually take the time to read most of my comments or replies you would see there is usually some thought and substance behind my posts. Even the comments I post on articles relating to the Flyers I usually have some substance behind what I post. I understand that when I end all of my posts with 1975 it might chap a few Flyers fans @SS but I would never just post 1975 as my only comment. As far as stopping it I’m pretty sure that I will only stop it when the Flyers make me by winning the last game played and skate around with 34.5 pounds of silver. 1975

    • laxman1944 - May 9, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      Well…..The Flyer has taken Gretsky’s Oilers to game 7 and lost……swept by Detroit and game 6 with Chi-town

      It’s easier said than done my friend…..

    • coopjr - May 9, 2013 at 2:54 PM

      So you chose to punctuate your, as you say, thoughtful and substantive prose by being childish.

      Yeah, I don’t get it.

      It seems like the one person unable to get over 1975 is you. Are all Flyers fans in your head or just the ones who post here?

  11. colossal87 - May 9, 2013 at 9:37 PM


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