After years of having a bullet-proof hold over the Pittsburgh Penguins’ starting job, Marc-Andre Fleury finally has a big-name backup in Tomas Vokoun.
Vokoun is a $2 million backup with a legitimate resume, so the question is: how will Fleury handle a significant threat breathing down his neck?
Either way, both goalies would prefer to forget big chunks of last season.
Fleury compiled 42 regular season wins while putting up solid individual numbers, but his playoff work was disastrous. Fleury allowed a stunning 26 goals in just six games against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Vokoun took less money with the Washington Capitals in hopes of winning a Stanley Cup but instead struggled on the ice – when he was healthy enough to even play.
Ultimately, the Penguins hope that at least one of them regains the form that made them much-hyped netminders in the past.
Vokoun’s been a No. 1 guy for a long time and Fleury hasn’t seen a threat to his hold over that role since assuming it, so perhaps Pittsburgh might benefit from both goalies leaving their comfort zones.
Brandon Sutter faces tough task: replacing Jordan Staal
Do Crosby and Malkin even need scoring help?
For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.
The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.
They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.
It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.
Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)
Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.
This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.
Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: