Flowers tend to bloom in spring, which makes Penguins goalie Marc-Andre “Flower” Fleury’s nickname ironic considering he wilts like a salted snail during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After Fleury allowed 14 goals in the first four games of the Penguins’ first-round series against the Islanders (and 40 goals in his previous 10 playoffs games dating back to 2012, “good” enough for a 4.11 goals against average, which is bad), coach Dan Bylsma wised up and replaced the struggling goalie with veteran Tomas Vokoun, who finished off the Islanders and started the entire second-round series with the Senators while giving the Penguins somewhat of a steady presence in goal.
That is, until Monday. After allowing three goals on 30 shots in Pittsburgh’s 3-0 loss to Boston in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final Saturday, Vokoun allowed three in less than 17 minutes Monday, including the first goal just 28 seconds into the game.
Bylsma had seen enough, so he summoned Fleury from the bench to relieve Vokoun late in the first period. POP QUIZ: How do you think that went?
D. B & C
That’s Fleury allowing a goal on the first shot he faced. He allowed two more in the third period as the Bruins took a 2-0 series lead in a 6-1 rout. It was the first time in 30 years that a visiting team scored four or more goals in the opening period of a Conference Final or Stanley Cup Final game.
Here are your Pittsburgh goaltender statistics for Game 2:
Vokoun: three goals allowed on 12 shots (.750 save percentage).
Fleury: three goals allowed on 17 shots (.824 save percentage).
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Unless you’re imitating a sieve. Then it’s sort of sad.
So who starts Game 3 Wednesday? Bylsma said Tuesday that “there will be changes” in Pittsburgh’s lineup. I’m half-expecting a jersey to be tied to the goal posts.