The Pittsburgh Penguins opened up the 2013 NHL Playoffs at home. After an outstanding regular season, the Penguins are taking on the 8th seed New York Islanders. After four games the series is tied at 2-2. Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma has decided to sit Marc-Andre Fleury, and start Tomas Vokoun.
Fleury’s play has been no better than an average back up in this series. His numbers have drop sharply and there doesn’t seem to be much up side to putting him between the pipes for game five. In this year’s playoffs Fleury has allowed 14 goals in just 4 games. His numbers show the change in his play (GAA 3.40 SV% .891). During the regular season Fleury had great numbers (GAA 2.39 SV% .911). In the 33 games Fleury started during the regular season he allowed 74 goals. This is not the first time Fluery has struggled in the playoffs, but for his career this year would be an anomaly. Fleury’s career playoff numbers are GAA 2.72 and a SV% .904. Sadly for Fleruy he may be watching the rest of round one from the bench.
Vokoun has played in 20 games this year. His regular season record was 13-4 with a 2.45 GAA, and a SV% of .919. The 36-year-old net minder has only played in only 11 playoff games, all with the Nashville Predators. In the 11 games playoff games Vokoun posted a 2.47 GAA and a SV% of .922. Tomas has been a very reliable back up this year, and has had luck verse the Islanders. In three stars vs. the Islanders Vokoun has been nothing short of outstanding (GAA is .90 with a SV% of .970). If these numbers stay true the Penguins may ride Vokoun for the rest of round one.
The Penguins may have thought this round would be a tune up, but it is turning out to be a nightmare. If they want to reassert their dominance they will needs to figure out a way to repeat game one. If not the Islanders may prove a lot of people wrong. It looks like the Islanders have found their sea legs, and are ready to fight. Game five should be full of ups and downs, hits and saves. If this trend continues this could be the best series in round one.