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Pens recall Vokoun from conditioning stint

Apr 14, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

Tomas Vokoun AP

Pittsburgh has recalled goalie Tomas Vokoun from his two-game conditioning assignment in AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the club announced on Monday.

Vokoun, 37, missed the entire regular season after being diagnosed with a blood clot in his pelvis during training camp. He’d previously experienced blood clotting issues in his career — missing significant time while a member of the Nashville Predators — and underwent a lengthy rehab to correct the issue this season.

While he was out, the Pens turned to Jeff Zatkoff to fill the backup void, and he did reasonably well — 12-6-2 record, 2.61 GAA and .912 save percentage. But Zatkoff, who’s never played a postseason game, lacks the big-game experience and veteran presence Vokoun brings. When No. 1 netminder Marc-Andre Fleury stumbled during last year’s playoffs, Vokoun stepped in and provided Pittsburgh with some solid play, going 6-5 with a 2.01 GAA and .933 save percentage.

As such, it’ll be interesting to see what Pittsburgh does with Vokoun now that he’s back from WBS. He went 1-1-0 over the weekend with the Baby Pens, posting a 2.41 GAA and .891 save percentage.

 

 

  1. lowenni - Apr 14, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    I like Vokoun a lot, and he did a great job in the playoffs last year, but if I were Blysma I’d let Zatkoff back up. In the playoffs you can’t afford to let Vokoun work his rust off if he has to be called into action. At his best he is better than Zatkoff for sure, but there’s no telling how quickly he can return to form after taking a season off recovering from a very serious ailment. I think for the first round they’ll let Zatkoff back up, but perhaps after a few weeks of practice Vokoun could return. Fleury let in some very weak goals in the season finale against the Pens…

  2. barkar942 - Apr 14, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Now that is what I call a great vote of confidence for Fleury’s Playoff goal tending abilities.

    • hockey412 - Apr 14, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      It’s an all-hands-on-deck situation. I’d rather have him practicing against Crosby/Malkin, etc., than reconditioning in the AHL.

  3. imgoingtowichita - Apr 14, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Pens are likely to go as far as Vokoun takes them. I wonder where MAF will land at the draft?

  4. orangandblack - Apr 14, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Serious question for Pens fans…..Let’s say Fleury does collapse, do you have more confidence in someone who has experience but hasn’t played ALL year, or in Zatkoff who’s played decent enough but carries no playoff experience?

    • killerpgh - Apr 14, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      I’ld go with Vokoun. Vokoun is the better goalie, imo. Zakoff has horrible playoff numbers in the AHL and ECHL. His AHL numbers are 3 W’s and 8 L’s with a 4.58GAA and a save% of .865. If Vokoun is ready and in game shape he is my choice if needed to start a game and not use MAF. But as weird as it sounds I think I would dress Zakoff as my back up over Vokoun to start the playoffs.

    • JoeAvg - Apr 14, 2014 at 3:58 PM

      I actually look for Fleury to start strong. What worries me is the possible lack of discipline/defense in front of him. Which is how Fleury’s problem started to begin with. Oh those vicious cycles.

      They lucked out drawing Columbus. Not that they’re a bad team, just a good match-up for the Pens. Certainly one they have confidence against. I just hope they can get it together during the first round. If not, I don’t see them going much further with the way they’ve played since the Olympic break.

    • mangoman1966 - Apr 14, 2014 at 10:31 PM

      Fleury had a great season but he has to prove he can do it in the playoffs. He gets pulled this playoff season hes as good as gone. Of course hopefully he will get some help on defense.

  5. broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 14, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    Yep, the Hens are ready for another Beach Ball Fleury “crap his pants performance”. Thats why they called the handicap up from the AHL.

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