Let’s put it to bed: Tomas Vokoun is the Pittsburgh Penguins starting goaltender. He is, he was, and he should be. At no point in Game 2 did Marc-Andre Fleury prove that it should be any different. Yes, Vokoun is pretty average, but considering Fleury is less than that, Vokoun is the guy who gives the Pens the best chance to win and turn this series around. End of discussion.
The fact that so many people keep beating this goaltending “dilemma” to death is actually quite comical considering that goaltending might actually be arguably the Penguins’ strongest suit so far this series. At this point you’re probably saying “what the hell are you talking about, the Pens gave up six, count ‘em, SIX goals last game?”
This is true, but consider how god awful the Penguins defense has been, not only last game but in Game 1 as well. They’re just letting the Bruins possess the puck, set up shop in front of the net and fire away at will. You go with that strategy as a defensive unit and I don’t care who the hell is in net, the other team is going to score and score often.
Let’s look at some evidence:
There you have it – the defense has been absolutely miserable, especially the leader of that defensive squad, Kris Letang. Letang seems to be in proximity of every Bruins goal, yet doing absolutely nothing about it. He’s already a -5 through TWO GAMES this series. #Norris.
And his teammates on offense? While they’ve created some chances, they have also converted on exactly one of them. Through two games. Providing half a goal of support per game for your goaltender to work with isn’t exactly going to win many series, and it’s tough to score goals when you’re offense is insistent upon turning repeatedly turning the puck over and allowing odd-man rushes.
So, yes, while neither goaltender has been very good for Pittsburgh, they haven’t nearly been as bad as every single one of their teammates skating in front of them over the past two games. The defense has been seriously leaving their goaltender out to dry and the offense hasn’t been providing any support on the other end whatsoever.
It’s tough to win hockey games when you’re busy letting the other team’s offense bully you in the defensive zone while doing nothing with your own. The Pens need to drastically tighten up on D and start putting pucks in the net on the other end. Until then, it doesn’t matter who’s in net so let’s all stop pretending like it does.