When Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma announced that Tomas Vokoun, the season-long backup for No. 1 goalie Marc-Audre Fleury, would start in a crucial Game 5 against the New York Islanders in the first round, no one knew what was going to happen.
Would we see a Fleury-like Vokoun or the Vokoun that allowed very few goals during most games this season? So far, people have seen a Vokoun that has shut down lots and lots of shots.
Vokoun is a veteran goaltender. He knows how to win games in the regular season and the playoffs. He helped the series against the Islanders and now he’s just one game away from moving his team on to the Eastern Conference final.
Oh and by the way, he has the third-lowest goals-against average (1.82) of any goaltender in the playoffs, the second-best save percentage (.942) and he’s also 5-1 with a shutout. Those stats can be compared right now to Jonathan Quick’s run to the Stanley Cup Final and the Conn Smythe Trophy last year with Los Angeles.
Penguins fans may be wondering, “When is Byslma ever going to take Vokoun out?” The answer could be the Stanley Cup Final if they get there. Whenever Bylsma does will be the right time. Just one slip-up in these playoffs from Vokoun and Byslma will go right back to Fleury. So far, Vokoun hasn’t messed up.
We all know Vokoun can lead the Penguins. But, will he get to start all the way to the Stanley Cup Final? That is a mystery and we will all have to sit back and wait for that answer in due time.