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Vokoun to start for Penguins

Jun 5, 2013, 12:19 PM EDT

Tomas Vokoun Getty Images

Tomas Vokoun will start in goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight in Boston, even after he was pulled from Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals after allowing three goals on 12 Bruins shots.

Vokoun will get the nod over Marc-Andre Fleury, who also allowed three goals in Monday’s 6-1 Bruins victory and hasn’t started since Game 4 of the first round versus the Islanders.

Vokoun is 6-3 with a .929 save percentage in the playoffs. Fleury is 2-2 with a .883 save percentage.

Yesterday, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma hinted that Vokoun would be the man for Game 3.

“We look at his entire body of work, not one instance or one shot last night that would sway what goes into how he performed or how he’s going to perform in his next game,” said Bylsma.

“He’s certainly won a lot of hockey games, had a lot of success in that net for us, and he didn’t have that last night, but that’s not going to play into the decision.”

The Bruins lead the series, 2-0.

  1. kovodisc - Jun 5, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    I think it gives them the best chance to win…

    • apkyletexas - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      Goalie isn’t really the problem. For example, that first goal in the 2nd game was handed to the Bruins by Crosby’s horrendous error with the puck. Everything should be starting on the Defensive end for them.

      And scoring 1 goal in 2 games is a bit of a problem. Focus on defense, and the scoring chances will come. With that many all-star shooters, they shouldn’t be worried about scoring, they should be focusing on the defensive end and letting the goal scoring chances come to them.

      This team is playing like crap – like a bunch of individuals. They might need a year together before they gel. And they should get rid of Cooke. All he does is fire up the other teams while the refs overlook any penalties against him – because he hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt.

    • jimthebear - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      Who? The Bruins?

  2. kovodisc - Jun 5, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Sends the message – “you are the starter and we have faith you can get the job done.”

    With that said, I hope he lets in another 3 and we see Fleury again :)

  3. manchestermiracle - Jun 5, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    The Kings need a true scorer and the Pens need a goaltender. Off-season trade coming?

    • pepper2011 - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      I was thinking a Malkin to Buffalo for Miller and picks/prospects. Malkin is a UFA after next year as are Letang and Kunitz – both due raises; especially Letang. Miller too, but he will be cheaper than Malkin by about 3m a year.

      Trading Malkin makes the most sense…

      • bekay19 - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        if trading an MVP makes sense……………..

      • pepper2011 - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        He’s gonna want at least the same money he is making now @ 8.7m. With the Cap going down next year it’s a slippery slope. The Pens have NO goalie and an attractive commodity in Sid -as in; you might be able to get a North American player or two, or three to sign there at a better cap hit than they would, say in Nashville or Buffalo. The Buyout option adds to that; as in the Rangers buy out Richards(pick your talented underachiever) – maybe he signs in Pitt for 4-5m. Now you have Miller, Richards and some young talent for just about the same money as Malkin.
        If you can’t trade Sid and Neal is a steal @ 5m. It almost has to be Malkin. Buffalo has the 8th pick this year and would have a full season to decide if they want to resign Miller.
        For Buffalo to trade miller- they would need to get something impressive back and it seems like he wants out, and Enroth seems like he could be a starter. It’s just hard to have two (maybe 3 -Letang) guys with cap hits over 7m; especially when two of them will be almost 9m.

        after Sochi, just like Iginla there will be a long list of guys willing to play with Sid for a little less money. The Pens will undoubtedly be in it next year so they won’t trade Malkin near the deadline, do it now and get a pick or you might lose him to FA. just my opinion.

      • pepper2011 - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        Personally, I would the team I root have the entire rosters name on the CUP than one guys name on Hart. just me.

      • pepper2011 - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        Ovechkin has 2, possibly 3 MVP’s.

      • imleftcoast - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:37 PM

        Did you see the one good player the Pens had in Games 1 and 2? No one is untradeable, but you’re insane to suggest trading Malkin. I’d love to have that guy on my team.

      • pepper2011 - Jun 5, 2013 at 3:09 PM

        Look- I am not saying give him away. Personally I would trade Sid over him for injury worries alone, but they can’t really do that. I just think financially they will be screwed. looking at 2014-15 season if resign Malkin and Letang:
        8.7 Sid
        8.7 Malkin
        6.5 Letang (same as Karlsson for arguments sake)
        5.0 Neal
        5.0 Martin
        That’s 33.9M of 64.3M – 53% on five players.
        that’s a 1.78m average for the remaining 16 players (22 man roster). No Goalies, assuming a Fleury is a Buyout.
        That is one line accounting for 53% of your cap hit. somethings gotta give. as a point of reference Tanner Glass made 1.1m this year. so you could sign or resign Dupuis or Letang types for you second line (I know they would be more balanced) then your 3rd adn 4th lines would be filled with the likes of Tanner Glass and you STILL don’t have a goalie

      • pepper2011 - Jun 5, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        and by “letang” I meant Kunitz. in reference to the second line.

      • jpelle82 - Jun 5, 2013 at 3:50 PM

        on your list – malkin will be signed no matter what, letang i’m not so sure about. if its money, letang is expendable in my opinion, they have pouliot who could replace him from an offensive skill perspective and they have harrington, maatta, and doumolin coming up too. there’s a reason they drafted those guys. martin, letang, orpik, niskanen could all be gone by 2014-2015 and i’d be cool with it.

      • pepper2011 - Jun 5, 2013 at 4:09 PM

        Yikes… If that is your D in 2014-15 with an unknown goalie – You have good young D-men but they take time to develop. I mean the B’s have Hamilton who will be great, but I wouldn’t feel too good about their chances if he was in their Top 2 next year. Thats assuming all three have a full year NEXT YEAR. I mean you are talking about 4 D-men (in 14-15) ages 23, 22,21 and 20. That would mean in two years Despres is your veteran go to guy at 24 years old. He had a decent year, but that’s quite a leap…

    • miketoasty - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      I think it would take too much to get Bernier, as much as I would love to see him in a Pens uniform. I think there are too many other teams that would want him that would give up more to get him.

      Unless you meant Quick, and in that case you are mentally insane thinking LA would trade him (But I don’t think that’s what you were implying).

      • kovodisc - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:29 PM

        I wouldn’t be surprised if they make a run at Rask. Boston will have a tough time re-signing him!

      • miketoasty - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:33 PM

        Problem is he’ll be a RFA so we would have to give up a couple draft picks to get him (Still wouldn’t be as much as we’d have to give up to get Bernier I’m sure), but Boston does have goalie depth, I don’t know for sure (Maybe a Bruins fan could help me out) but are any of them ready for the NHL yet, or is Boston going to be semi forced to resign Rask for a 1 to 2 year deal before they will be ready?

      • kovodisc - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        MIKE

        Bruins have decent depth at goalie. Khudobin proved he is a very serviceable NHL goalie. Ready to be a starter? No so sure.

        Svedberg has also shined in the minors and is actually projected to be better than Khudobin. I think he’s in line to be the next starter if/when Rask is gone.

        Then they drafted Malcolm Subban last year who is supposedly a remarkable goalie. He struggled mightily in the Junior World Championships this past year, but he’s only 19.

      • miketoasty - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        Should be an interesting off season as much as I love Fleury (Can’t not love a goalie that gets you the cup) I think it’s time to get rid of him, up until last game I had faith in him but he proved that he is done (At least at $5 mil a year).

        The only decent goalie (Under the age of 35) in free agency this year is Al Montoya, although he has an awesome name, I would rather someone with a little more experience to be in net for us.

      • pepper2011 - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        Rask will be re-signed. They will more than likely buyout Peverley, and let ferrence walk to clear up the Cap space. If they need more than can always LTIR Savard. They are in better shape than people think. I’m more worried about losing Horton, I could also see them packaging some of their young talent (khokhlachev, Bartkowski with Peverley or Kelly) to picks/depth to clear some cap space. They have Soderberg too who should be 5-9 forward. Spooner will be ready next year to replace Kelly/Pevereley.

  4. malvaren18 - Jun 5, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Let’s go Penguins!

  5. GH - Jun 5, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    This is the right move. Vokoun has been the better goalie these playoffs and was even last game (some of those goals you can’t put on him).

    The issue for the Pens has not been goaltending. We could have Jonathan Quick in there – if you can’t get the puck through the neutral zone you’re not going to win.

    • imleftcoast - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      I’ve always thought Fleury was the Pens weakness (until game 2), but Vokoun will be 37 in the summer. He doesn’t have the games on him that Brodeur does, but he’s more of a backup after another season or two.

      • GH - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:45 PM

        I was just talking about today/this year but you’re not wrong. Assuming the rest of these playoffs belong to Vokoun (even if they only last a couple more games) the writing is on the wall for Fleury and he wouldn’t be retained in all likelihood. They like Hartzell (the goalie they signed out of college) and have him as an RFA going into this season. If they think he has NHL potential they could bridge the gap with Vokoun and another vet.

  6. pepper2011 - Jun 5, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    @sportsfreak- Told you we would see Fleury in this series, and that wouldn’t be good. I wish more than anything they were starting him tonight. I have a feeling we might see him again tonight though. Rask still not an advantage? Martin still as good as Chara? What’s with the radio silence?

    • tfaltin - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      I’m absolutely pulling for the B’s in this series and so far you’ve been right, but isn’t it a bit early for this “Told you” crap? Two wins does not a series make.

      • pens5829 - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        Sounds like pepper2011 has his tinfoil cup already built?

      • pepper2011 - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        Oh- don’t mistake my “told you” to sportsfreak as me thinking this series is done; far from it. Seen too much past and present years to make that mistake. Pens have far more offensive firepower than the B’s who were less than 2 minutes and 2 goals away from their season being over, so until they are shaking hands; it’s not over.

        Not saying told you about the series,just that we would see Fleury. Just trying to get him to admit that maybe his penguin colored glasses may have warped his perception on the Rask vs. Vokoun debate, and that perhaps, just maybe an impressive and overachieving Sens team and a team in the Isles that is poised, but still needs some help for Tavares may not have been the proper barometer for Vokoun’s play.

      • pepper2011 - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        Basically trying to candy-coat calling him gutless for posting incessantly about how “foolish” he made me look with his points, and then not one post (that I have seen) since when it seems that some of my points my have had some validity. The dude said Martin was as good as Chara; I just can’t let that go.

  7. myroncopesflask - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    I think Bylsma had no choice. Fleury was pulled because he kept giving up momentum killing goals. So he gets a shot in game two and what happens? He gives up a goal seconds after Sutter scored a goal and seconds before the end of the period. It was the 1st shot he faced and it is was a garbage shot. I was Fleury’s biggest supporter after that hot mess last year against the Flyers but I have to say he should be done with the Pens. He get 5 mil a year and cannot make a save after the month of April.

    I am in no way or shape saying that goaltending had anything to do with what has happened in the 1st two games of this series. My Pens have been spanked in every possible way in these 1st two games. I will say if Fleury is gets another minute of ice time in this series the Pens are done. 1975

    • kovodisc - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      If that was a garbage shot, then Sutters goal seconds before, was also garbage by your standards.

      It was the SAME EXACT shot.

      • kovodisc - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:33 PM

        which means Rask would have pitched back-to-back shutouts, had it not been for that “garbage” goal.

      • burgh916 - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:45 PM

        Panties in a wad? Who said Sutters shot wasn’t garbage? Rask was playing amazing (and still was even after that goal) one was bound to go in. The point is Fleury gets his golden boy chance that all of his worshipers wanted, because he’s a “bounce back goalie”, and he blew it in typical Fleury fashion, momentum killing goals. Vokoun would have saved that, you can count on him to make an initial save, I cringe every time a shot is taken on Fleury.

    • pittsburghfan71 - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      Even if Flurry shuts them out we still lose because Vokoun let in 3 goals. Yes Flurry let in a goal not a minute after his shift started but so did Vokoun. Vokoun let in 3 goals in less than 1 period of play. Flurry let in 3 goals in just over 2 periods of play after riding the bench for 3 weeks because he lost 2 games in a row.

      Playing Vokoun since game 4 of the Islanders was a mistake. In my opinion we should have played Flurry atleast by game 5 of the Ottowa series. If he goes in and wins we know Flurry is ready to start when the coaches deem fit. If he loses we have 2 more games to win 1 and we know that Flurry is cold and Vokoun is out best solution.

      Dont plug him into a losing battle and use that against him.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Jun 5, 2013 at 3:08 PM

        For god’s sake. If you want to defend the guy at least have the decency to spell his name right. It’s F-L-E-U-R-Y.

    • rgotoguy - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      I agree, It’s time for us Pens fans to collectively accept Fleury may have to go. He’s the pens weakest link this year and last. Looking at his numbers during the regular season Fleury truly is a mediocre goalie with a somewhat undeserved reputation. The Pens win in spite of him not because of him. He has had an offensive juggernaut playing in front of him for years now which I believe has helped mask his mediocre play. Maybe he is bought out or moved this summer, retain Vokoun for another season until Shero the wizard can bring in a truly elite guy. Hey Hank’s contract (if he doesnt sign an extension with NYR) is up in a year or two? Miller would also be a superb fit.

  8. neelybourque778 - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    Right choice but it won’t matter.

    • pens5829 - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:14 PM

      Neely??? Really? Bet you’re a Milbury fan too?

      • rogersjd16 - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:33 PM

        Uh, what? If you’re comparing Neely to Millbury, or not knowing how incredible a player Neely was, then you’re even less hockey intelligent than the Pitt fans booing Jagr every time he touches the puck.

      • supercoop8 - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        Neely: In the Hall of Fame, 50 goals in his first 44 games in the 93-94 season quickest pace to 50, second only to Gretzky. Either you’re stretching or trolling trying to bring Milbury in to it, but no just no.

      • jpelle82 - Jun 5, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        cam neely shouldve did what bourque did and too bad he got hurt so much there at the end.

        http://www.sportspickle.com/news/15898/cam-neely-contacts-penguins-about-shot-to-win-elusive-stanley-cup

      • jpelle82 - Jun 5, 2013 at 4:07 PM

        didnt milbury coach neely?

      • neelybourque778 - Jun 5, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        Sorry but I have no idea what you’re getting at.

  9. jacketsfan7 - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    @manchestermania , Malkin for quick?

    • drone501 - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      got to admit, the jagr booing is really getting old, very old. as a pens fan it embarrras s me.

  10. kingsforever - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Did you just say Malkin for Quick? What kind of joke is that? A center which la has nothing but for the best goalie in the league? Lololololol okayyy keep dreaming

    • miketoasty - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      I wouldn’t want to trade Malkin anyways, we need a goalie but there’s no point in giving up one of the best players in the NHL. There are other goalies out there (Albeit not as good as Quick) that would come cheaper that could at least hold the fort for a team that scores a ton of goals.

  11. drewsylvania - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Yeah, Neely’s no Cooke, Ulf, Kasparaitis…

  12. psousa1 - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Penguins do have, in addition to the cups, have a rich 20 year history of cowardly play

    • pittsburghfan71 - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      Probably another flier fan trying to make themselves feel better about not making the playoffs. Penguins fans have too much class to talk about how bad your city sucks at everything and that it smells like homeless people. But we will say better luck next year and we will see you in the playoffs if you make it that far.

      • micklethepickle - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:57 PM

        You should also add in the “things PHI has that PIT does not” category bare minimums of public education… as in, the ability to spell “Flyer” correctly.

      • kovodisc - Jun 5, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        Pot, meet Kettle.

      • yougotgirouxed - Jun 5, 2013 at 4:50 PM

        You just said you have too much class to bash the Flyers and Philly, then proceed to bash Philly. so dumb…..

    • drone501 - Jun 5, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      come on down to the south side and say that. them boys will cut you too short to hang and too thin to fry.

  13. mikep363839 - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    It’s funny on this very site a week ago I couldn’t read an article without going to the bottom and seeing nasty comments from Pens fans talking so much sh!t. Now that karma is smacking u and ur team in the mouth you wanna be humble and talk about what goalie can save yall. I don’t get it Steelers fans aren’t that bad so why are Pens fans so pathetic.

  14. kmacle - Jun 5, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    No win situation. The coach has shown no confidence in either – Vokoun’s in by default.

  15. blastfurnaceknows - Jun 5, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Whoever suggested that Milbury once “coached Neely,” I respond to only say that Milbury has never effectively coached anyone in his life. That guy is the king clown of all clowns and a disgrace to not only NHL broadcasts, but the NHL generally.

  16. neguru2013blog - Jun 5, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    Well it won’t matter who is in net for the penns . There over matched by a much better team . And yes it’s over. No team NO TEAM has ever come back in this round after losing 1st two games at home . Task is the best goalie that is left in playoffs the bruins are also the best def team left . Plus everyone forgets when they won cup they did the same thing to that’s years high powered team the chunks . Everybody forget how in love everyone was that year with them. Bruins killed them like the pens now their built to beat these teams

  17. neguru2013blog - Jun 5, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Oh and bruins will not let Rask go . They traded to get him and mad sure he was in that deal . They know what they have in him . The Penns are a high power squared they get at making a high light reel. But put together a game plan against them and they will fall apart . Love how all the sports channels are in love still with them, why would bruins lose at home with last line change crowd behind them .

    • drone501 - Jun 5, 2013 at 6:13 PM

      stranger thing have happened.

  18. drone501 - Jun 5, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    this is the right call. barring a complete turnaround, maf is done in pittsburgh.

  19. benrob99 - Jun 5, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Whoever said in this thread that it is possible /probable that the Pens trade a Malkin… Put down your bongs. 71 will be in black and gold for a long time. (for the record bah-stahn fans I meant Geno not… Well you know)

  20. capsrockva - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Oh good, Now he’ll probably let in 2 or 3 and get pulled. Besides Goal isn’t the problem here. IT Pitts offense. They aren’t doing anything to help the goalie

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