May 31, 2013, 12:32 PM EDT
Yesterday, we wrote about Marc-Andre Fleury’s future with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Today, Ray Shero shed some light on where the beleaguered goalie stands.
The Pens GM admitted he didn’t know what would’ve become of his club had it not yanked Fleury in favor of Tomas Vokoun during the opening round against New York.
“Without having Tomas Vokoun to go to in Game 5 against the Islanders,” Shero told reporters, “I’m not sure what happens.”
Vokoun was named the starting goalie with Fleury struggling, the series tied 2-2 and memories being stirred of last year’s playoff meltdown against Philadelphia.
Fleury looked equally lost against the Flyers in 2012 — posting a 2-4 record with a .834 save percentage and 4.63 GAA — but the Pens were essentially forced to roll with him as their starter (his backup, 34-year-old Brent Johnson, had a poor regular season and wasn’t an option to start.)
This year, they weren’t.
Vokoun was brought aboard as insurance for exactly this type of moment. He’s handled the situation about as well as anyone in the organization could’ve hoped — 6-1, .941 save percentage, 1.85 GAA — and, as Shero alluded to, may have saved Pittsburgh’s season.
Not that the Pens GM is overly surprised.
“[Vokoun has been one of the better goalies in the NHL,” he explained. “He just happened to be playing in Nashville and Florida, not in the media spotlight.”
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