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Bylsma: Fleury, Vokoun the ‘best tandem in the league’

Sep 11, 2013, 12:37 PM EDT

vokounfleurygetty Getty Images

Just one day into training camp and Dan Bylsma is already pumping his goalies’ tires.

On Tuesday, the Pens head coach said his netminders — Marc-Andre Fleury and Tomas Vokoun — were the “best tandem in the league,” according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Bylsma’s comments come after a summer in which Pittsburgh’s goaltending came under heavy scrutiny.

Fleury, who will enter the 2013-14 season as the club’s No. 1, lost his starting gig to Vokoun during the playoffs after some shaky outings in the first round against the Islanders.

Vokoun performed well enough in relief, though he did allow six goals in 42 shots in the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals against Boston, getting yanked in Game 2.

The Penguins have all taken a similar approach to discussing their goaltending situation throughout the summer and, apparently, into training camp.

The first part is saying they have faith in Fleury — “we believe in him,” captain Sidney Crosby told the Trib — and the second is confirming that, should Fleury falter, they’re comfortable having Vokoun between the pipes.

In spite of that, Bylsma made it clear the team won’t be employing a timeshare in goal this season.

The plan is for Fleury to get the majority of the starts, and the club is hopeful he can reclaim the form that saw him backstop Pittsburgh to the Stanley Cup in 2009.

  1. laxman1944 - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    And it really showed against The Bruins………hhhhhhmmmmmmm.

    • blurryhaze312 - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      You do realize that the Pens lost because they only scored 2 goals in 4 games, right?

      Aside from game 2 being a mess, the Bruins only scored 3, 2 and 1 goals in the games


      • therealjr - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        You do realize that Fleury had nothing but one appearance of mop up duty in the series, right?

        So 37 year old Vokoun is the lynchpin of the best tandem of the league?


      • blurryhaze312 - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        “You do realize that Fleury had nothing but one appearance of mop up duty in the series, right?”

        Right. Which is why the comment by “laxman” is irrelevant to the ECF series against Boston.

        Get the point now?

      • blurryhaze312 - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        And that doesn’t even account for the actual scoring results of the games. Again, irrelevant as the Pens lost that series because they didn’t score, not because their own goal-tending results.

  2. philly4lyfe - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    I love it when headlines make me laugh so hard that the coffee I’m drinking almost comes out my nose.

  3. jimw81 - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Playing volleyball?

  4. devilsarethebest - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    I’m gonna have to say that belongs to either us or STL.

    • ibieiniid - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      hard to disagree with Bernier out of LA.

      • ibieiniid - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:25 PM

        hard to disagree with you with Bernier out of LA.*

  5. upyourstodd - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Dan you’re drunk, go home. Hard not to laugh at that one.

  6. amityvillefun - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    One guy is in therapy because he chokes when it counts. Vokoun isn’t bad though. Not great though.

    That doesn’t amount to the best tandem. New Jersey has a better pair of puck stoppers by far! They are gonna need them too.

    But….keep believing that Pittsburgh….drink the Kool-aid as the pucks keep on piling up in your own net.

    Fleury must have PTSD from losing so many important games! General Patton would have smacked his face and put him “back on the front.”

  7. mrpinkca - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    He was of course talking about the South Pittsburgh Tuesday-Thursday Adult Ball Hockey League.

    • ibieiniid - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      this gave me a visual of a double-wide net with two goalies playing at once, i’m not sure why.

  8. ashtongronholz8 - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    I would agree on devils and St. Louis as best tandem but St..louis has a triple tandem.

  9. pitpenguinsrulez - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    @philly4lyfe The Flyers have no room to speak either there toolbag

    • ibieiniid - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      yeah…. that’s why they didn’t call their tandem the best in the league. the Penguins did.

      • ibieiniid - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        oh…. toolbag.

  10. dprouse - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    The Devils and Blues say hello.

  11. c1md6 - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Kids, this is your brain on drugs.

  12. Happy RVing by White Horse RV Center - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Jeez, I’m a Flyers fan and even I wouldn’t want those two!

    • jpelle82 - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:57 PM

      thumbs down for your internet handle there buddy and the shameless plug….but at least now i know where not to go for my rv purchasing needs so thanks anyway.

      • ibieiniid - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        lol jerk. you’re gonna wanna go ahead and click the guy’s name and see that he uses his WordPress how it’s actually supposed to be used….. a blog/website. at least his isn’t being used for trolling other commenters on PHT.

      • jpelle82 - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        if he’s selling on wordpress then he’s got bigger issues than just being a flyers fan. my point was that you dont want to mix business with fandom, you lose customers.

      • ibieiniid - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        ahhhh an extreme hockey fan’s version of the free market system. how refreshing.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Sep 11, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      If you’re a Flyers fan and you don’t want the guy that put up virtually the same exact numbers as Jonathan Quick and Henrik Lundqvist in the playoffs than you must not like your team very much. Knock Fleury all you want, but Vokoun came to Pittsburgh to win a cup and he played exactly like a guy who wants to win a frickin’ cup! Unfortunately some of his counterparts that came to the Pens couldn’t dig deep enough to find the same spirit for the ultimate prize as Vokoun. Judge Vokoun not for the disaster of a first period he had in Round 2 Game 2, but for the exceptionally heroic performances he gave in the other 10 games. Because at the end of the day the Bruins still only scored 6 goals between games 1, 3, and 4. The Pens were averaging over 4 goals PER GAME going into that series. No reason they shouldn’t have been able to win at least 2 of those games. Vokoun gave them every chance in the world to win games 3 and 4 but the Pens skaters fought him all the way. Scoring 1 goal between those 3 games is why the Pens lost. Call me crazy, but I’m not going to start knocking goalies for not stepping up and scoring goals. Haha, I mean that’s where I’ll draw the line at goalie criticism. So like I said, point and laugh at Fleury all you guys want, but Vokoun has more than earned the respect as a legit asset to any team. If it wasn’t for him I’d be fighting “PENS LOST TO THE ISLANDERS IN THE FIRST ROUND!” comments for the next year. And don’t even front because you know if he was a FA Holmgren would have given him a call before Vokoun even had his bags in Pittsburgh packed.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Sep 11, 2013 at 6:20 PM

        *Round 3 Game 2

        It’s been a long day.

  13. girouxed - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    At least he still has some confidence after getting swept.

    Or he completely lost his mind.

  14. hockeyflow33 - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    What do you expect him to say to the media?

  15. ejbigg - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Thanks for brightening up my day Dan!

  16. ironman721 - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    He has to say that to support his players. I’m a Pens fan and can’t disagree more. However all the trolling Philly fans who find that statement funny, your goaltending situation is much, much worse and is not a joke.

  17. jacketsfan7 - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    You’re kidding right? This is coming from a pens fan……yeah ik my thing says jacketsfan7 but I watch both teams

  18. matt14gg - Sep 12, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    That’s just delusional.

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