Yesterday, we wrote about Marc-Andre Fleury’s future with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Today, Ray Shero shed some light on where the beleaguered goalie stands.
The Pens GM admitted he didn’t know what would’ve become of his club had it not yanked Fleury in favor of Tomas Vokoun during the opening round against New York.
“Without having Tomas Vokoun to go to in Game 5 against the Islanders,” Shero told reporters, “I’m not sure what happens.”
Vokoun was named the starting goalie with Fleury struggling, the series tied 2-2 and memories being stirred of last year’s playoff meltdown against Philadelphia.
Fleury looked equally lost against the Flyers in 2012 — posting a 2-4 record with a .834 save percentage and 4.63 GAA — but the Pens were essentially forced to roll with him as their starter (his backup, 34-year-old Brent Johnson, had a poor regular season and wasn’t an option to start.)
This year, they weren’t.
Vokoun was brought aboard as insurance for exactly this type of moment. He’s handled the situation about as well as anyone in the organization could’ve hoped — 6-1, .941 save percentage, 1.85 GAA — and, as Shero alluded to, may have saved Pittsburgh’s season.
Not that the Pens GM is overly surprised.
“[Vokoun has been one of the better goalies in the NHL,” he explained. “He just happened to be playing in Nashville and Florida, not in the media spotlight.”
Fleury ‘trying not to think about’ his future in Pittsburgh
Video: PHT Extra – Is starting Vokoun the right call?
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?