The Pittsburgh Penguins bumped the New York Islanders out of the playoffs on Saturday, but they didn’t answer all their questions. One significant conundrum is: will they stick with Tomas Vokoun or go back to Marc-Andre Fleury in net for their second-round series against the Ottawa Senators?
So far, head coach Dan Bylsma isn’t telling.
“We’ll enjoy the fact that we got four wins and moving on,” Bylsma said.
Fleury gave way to Vokoun starting in Game 5 of the Penguins’ series against the Islanders. Vokoun won both of his two starts to close out the series, stopping 67 out of the 70 shots he’s seen.
While Fleury, 28, is the team’s franchise goalie, his 36-year-old backup makes $2 million per season in part to avoid meltdowns like the 2012 series against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Vokoun vs. Fleury looks primed to be a question that will entertain fans for a few days, but Ottawa’s situation is crystal clear: Craig Anderson is the man.
(Although that Robin Lehner guy’s pretty promising …)
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.
The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.
There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.
Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.
As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.
The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.
In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.
Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.
He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.