Go Go Black and Gold: GoaltendersPosted: 27/05/2013
As with the Senators series we want to take a look at the head to head matchups between the positions for both the Pens and B’s. We will start with goaltending which is easily the hardest thing to discuss.
For the Penguins, Tomas Vokoun has just been good. He’s been solid, but he hasn’t been spectacular. That he makes the saves that you expect has done wonders for the team and the team has supported him with quality play. The biggest critique of Vokoun has been his rebound control. And that’s fair, sometimes he’s great at diverting the puck to the corner boards, sometimes he leaves them just feet from the net. With the “Big Bad Bruins” coming to town you have to wonder if that will be problematic for the Pens. In his final start of the regular season Vokoun earned his 300th career win against the Bruins. In that game Voki played a gem. If he can continue that, the Pens won’t have too much to complain about.
The biggest issue that Vokoun will likely have to deal with is the continued media dialog over Marc-Andre Fleury. We’ve tried to be fairly mum about the whole thing but with even master Mike Colligan getting in on the act you almost have to feel Vokoun might be due for that one let down game that will open the floodgates of debate and might even see MAF return to the starting lineup. Or maybe he’ll successfully block it out and or thrive on it, and that will be the end of that.
Tuukka Rask is far more perplexing. Whereas it’s fair to assume that Vokoun will play a simple, good, brand of hockey, Rask tends to be all over the place: in the ECSF Rask made quite a few ten bell saves. He was more or less a solid wall that the Rangers were unable to solve. Against the Maple Leafs, however, Rask got exploited for 4 GAA twice. No question the Rangers lack of offense should not be overlooked but Rask’s play has been hit or miss at best.
Bottom line: From a numbers point of view Vokoun honestly gets, and more importantly deserves, the advantage. He’s 6-1 in his seven starts so far this postseason and has posted the second best save percentage among all goalies that have played this postseason, regardless of games. As with everything though, the weight of expectations both for Voki’s continued good play and for his eventual let down make this match up a little more even than it first seems. No question he’s been a model player through the first 7 games of his Penguins postseason, he’s just done the job and done it well. But there will always be questions so although he holds an advantage, it is slim.