Pittsburgh Penguins Coach Dan Bylsma joked that he considered a goaltending switch for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Boston Bruins because “I watched the NHL Network, so I've heard it talked about.”
So it’s nice to know someone is watching the NHL Network, at the very least.
Bylsma, however, made his call for Monday night’s game, down 0-1 to the Bruins: Vokoun gets the start.
“Coaches think about a lot of things, lineup, players, schemes, so like I said, I heard people talk about it on NHL Network, so it did cross my mind,” he said.
By steadying the Penguins after Marc-Andre Fleury’s Swiss cheese impression against the New York Islanders (and previous to that, against the Flyers last postseason), Vokoun earned the right to get a shot at stabilizing Pittsburgh after a chaotic Game 1 loss.
That said, he was anything but solid in the 3-0 defeat: He struggled with rebound control, pucks at his skates and could be faulted on at least one of the Bruins’ goals.
If the Penguins lose Game 2, no matter how Vokoun plays, he’s done.
Fleury will be back for Game 3, not only to change the momentum (and the conversation) for Pittsburgh but because management (GM Ray Shero included) have been praising the way he looks in practice. There’s a thought this multi-week break may have cleared Fleury’s head. If the Penguins go down 0-2, he’s going to get a shot to prove it.
Furthermore, MAF has a .954 save percentage in his last five games at TD Garden, going 4-1.
Monday night either extends Vokoun’s time as the Penguins starter or marks the end of it.
Not that he’s interested in that narrative.
"I don’t pay attention much to what media is saying. Dan (Bylsma) just said to come play next game and that was it,” said Vokoun to the Toronto Star.