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Pens coach won’t name a starting goalie for round two (yet)

May 11, 2013, 10:55 PM EDT

vokounfleurygetty Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins bumped the New York Islanders out of the playoffs on Saturday, but they didn’t answer all their questions. One significant conundrum is: will they stick with Tomas Vokoun or go back to Marc-Andre Fleury in net for their second-round series against the Ottawa Senators?

So far, head coach Dan Bylsma isn’t telling.

“We’ll enjoy the fact that we got four wins and moving on,” Bylsma said.

Fleury gave way to Vokoun starting in Game 5 of the Penguins’ series against the Islanders. Vokoun won both of his two starts to close out the series, stopping 67 out of the 70 shots he’s seen.

While Fleury, 28, is the team’s franchise goalie, his 36-year-old backup makes $2 million per season in part to avoid meltdowns like the 2012 series against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Vokoun vs. Fleury looks primed to be a question that will entertain fans for a few days, but Ottawa’s situation is crystal clear: Craig Anderson is the man.

(Although that Robin Lehner guy’s pretty promising …)

  1. atwatercrushesokoye - May 11, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    If Bylsma announces Fleury as the starter he should be fired on the spot! Vokounwww is the easy choice here.

    • gospitfires - May 12, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      ive always hated Fluery and have constantly referred to him as nothing more than this generations chris osgood, just lucky hes on a winning team. would this guy be in the league if he was drafted by columbus or the isle 8-9 years ago? we wouldnt even remember his name. lucky he plays for an great team

      • bru308 - May 12, 2013 at 11:40 AM

        It’s the Pitt sports fan bias.

        Signed,

        Pens fan

  2. jkulha86 - May 11, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Go with the hot hand. Vokoun should start until he proves he can’t.

  3. caniac4ever - May 11, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    I’m thinking this will be a close series. Goalies will deul it out. Gotta start Vokoun(side note Anderson was once a backup behind Vokoun).

    • 950003cups - May 12, 2013 at 1:57 PM

      Jorge Posada was once he back up catcher for Joe Girardi. What’s your point? Fleury can’t hack it. He’s the healthy version of Rick DiPietro. One was sent to a bad team, one was sent to a team full of top picks. Both suck today. Fleury has the luxury of goal support and a usually better than decent defense.

      • caniac4ever - May 12, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        I just threw that in there as an interesting tidbit. Calm down guy.

  4. billyhauntswizards - May 11, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    Pens will get absolutely smoked if they start Fleury against a tough, hungry sens team.

  5. fbothharbaughs - May 11, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    Eiggles? Eiggles??

  6. drone501 - May 11, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    vokoun book it

  7. ohiosteelerfan1980 - May 11, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    Gotta go with vokoun. Flower is too inconsistent. Go Pens!

  8. chanceoffleury1 - May 12, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    I think Fleury will get the nod. He’s still the starter and played well against Ottawa both times he faced them this season. His first game against the Isles in the regular season foreshadowed his play in this series. Whether people like it or not, there is definitely a loyalty factor there, too. I think he’ll be on a REALLY short leash, though. I don’t think they’ll hesitate to pull him if it isn’t working.

  9. sjsharks66 - May 12, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Flower all the way. He sucks against the Islanders, we all know that. He can hold his own against the other teams.

  10. ohiosteelerfan1980 - May 12, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    At the end of the day I’m a die hard pens fan and ill support whomever they choose in the net. Either ways lets go pens!

  11. hazlydose - May 12, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    I thought Fleury should be back in net for game 1 of the second round if the pens made it. Then I watched games 5 and 6. This is Vokoun’s team until he cools down.

  12. burgh916 - May 12, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    Vokoun. In fact it should have been him earlier in the series, and it may not have made it to 6 games.
    The fact is all of the Islanders goals in game 6 SHOULD have been goals. Defensive breakdowns, all on the same side of the ice. He played absolutely lights out when the team in front of him looked like they were nodding off to a game 7. I couldn’t even imagine how badly we would have gotten thrashed if Fleury was in for this.

    They can “try” Fleury all they want. Go for it. If he fails, that’s the end of him.
    I’m really hoping the Islanders were just an insanely good team (their last month upswing proves that.) disguised as an 8th seed, and not just a “sheep team.” The Senators will be a challenge no doubt, but hopefully getting the Islanders off our backs sparks us. How can we look so tired to start games? Bylsma? Light a fire under them.

  13. acieu - May 12, 2013 at 5:35 AM

    Then he is a gutless coach. How could you consider Flower after that display?

  14. benrob99 - May 12, 2013 at 6:14 AM

    Fleury. He’s your starter for a reason… he’s the best goalie on your roster. Sure he had an AWFUL three game stretch, but this time of year you CAN’T afford to over react. Voukie came in and did his job. Now it’s time for Flower to do his.

  15. watermelon1 - May 12, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    As a Caps fan… I hope it’s Volkoun.

    • dirt2013 - May 12, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      Caps need to worry about the Rangers and winner of the other series.

  16. steelers88 - May 12, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    You have to go with Vokoun here. And this is coming from a huge Flurey fan.

  17. jacketsfan7 - May 12, 2013 at 8:25 AM

    Honestly? Alternate them , Vokoun in game 1 and 3 , 5 and 7 ( if necessary ) and fleury in 2,4, and 6 ( if necessary )

  18. acieu - May 12, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    Try something novel play one till they lose and then bring in the other.

  19. csilojohnson - May 12, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    I say stay with Voki untill be fizzles.
    Have to stay with the hot glove.
    Would like to see a attitude change for the guys in front of Fleury though. If he makes it back in. They seem to play very loose in front of the Flower. Its very easy to blame the goalie. Granted he needs to play with more composure himself. Those board caroms needed to be stopped.

  20. joerevs300 - May 12, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    One shutout for Volkun, and you can’t really blame him for any of the 3 goals in Game 6.

    Fleury flops around like a fish and can’t stop the ridiculous rebound goals off the boards.

    It’s Volkun unless he starts letting in cheap goals like Fleury did.

  21. FoozieGrooler - May 12, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Fleury’s had a couple games on the bench to rest and get his mind right, hopefully – and Vokoun stepped up nicely. But at the end of the day, you go with the guy that got you here, and that’s Fleury.

    • therealjr - May 12, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      That ship has sailed. It’s no longer a fluke, check the last four years worth of playoff stats. The end of the MAF era is nigh.

  22. blackraven1313 - May 12, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    It shouldn’t matter which goalie Coach B puts out there in the first game,
    the defense needs to be lock tight first then either goalie has a chance to dominate!!!!

  23. csilojohnson - May 12, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    “Fleury has the luxury of puck support and a decent defense..”
    Yes he does, in the Regular season.
    In which he has been one of the Pens best players the last two seasons.
    During the playoffs the past two he has had none of what you claim he is so fortunate for. Not to take all blame from the Flower. He needs to find his legs, head, whatever will calm him down.
    I don’t think you can honestly say the guys in front of him have given him much of a chance. Not one game last year against Philly. Niether games 2,3, or 4 this year.
    A lot of people (Pens.fans included)
    seem to forget that without Fleury the Pens have only two cup wins, team MVP last season. As well as still being very young. Especially for a goalie.
    All.that being said. I still hope Voki starts against the Sens. Ride him untill he falters. (if he does)
    If Fleury has to be put in I am confident he is more then capable.
    As long as he manages his nerves better.

  24. agc99 - May 12, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    The flower has wilted and died. Time to move on.

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