Penguins vs. Bruins: Pittsburgh Should Start Tomas Vokoun in Game 3
You can't pin the Pittsburgh Penguins' 6-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 2 on goaltender Tomas Vokoun.
You can, however, pin it on the whole team.
Vokoun was pulled from the game after "allowing" three goals in the first period on Monday in the Eastern Conference Final. Marc-Andre Fleury was promptly inserted...before giving up another three goals.
The reality is, the Penguins as a team played poor defense on Monday. And, the reality is, Pittsburgh is a better offensive team than a defensive team. We knew that all along.
But, take him or leave him, Vokoun is the best option available.
Bruce Arthur of the National Post tweeted during the goalie change on Monday:
"Fleu-ry! Fleu-ry! Fleu-ry!" The Penguins are bring back Marc-Andre Fleury. Wow oh wow.— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) June 4, 2013
You hear that? It's desperation.— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) June 4, 2013
My thoughts exactly.
Coach Dan Bylsma was desperate after his team found itself in a 3-0 hole on Monday. He did what desperation can cause you to do. He blindly threw something out there (or someone) and hoped it would work.
Should the Penguins start Tomas Vokoun in Game 3?
Abandoning what has gotten Pittsburgh where it is, well, is the definition of panicking. Before the Game 1 loss on Saturday, Vokoun was 16-2 in his last 18 decisions. He may not be perfect, but he's a whole lot better than Fleury.
The fact that Bylsma failed to recognize that Vokoun wasn't the real problem is reason enough to doubt what he's doing out there. Boston was ranked second in the playoffs in goals per game headed into Monday's clash. You give this team open opportunities—like the Penguins defense did—and you are simply going to get burned, great goalie or not.
The Penguins—largely considered to be the East's powerhouse headed into the postseason—all of a sudden find themselves in a 0-2 hole against the Bruins. Fleury isn't magically going to be the team's savior. You live and die with Vokoun—and your defense—at this point.
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