Dan Bylsma announced Wednesday that Marc-Andre Fleury will not be the starting goaltender for game 5 of their first round series against the Islanders. Talk about your no-brainer. But while Bylsma might get credit for making the switch would it work out and the Penguins go on a tear, the move might in fact be coming a game or two late.
After the game 2 performance where Fleury booted the puck all over the ice, including knocking the game winner into his own net. If it were a one-off, then it could be excusable. But for Fleury, playoff struggles have been the rule rather than the exception.
Since their Stanley Cup win, the Penguins have won only 1 series in 3 post-seasons. Fleury has played in 30 playoff games, and his stats are not very good. He has a GAA of 3.16 and SP of .881. Even the vaunted Penguins offense can’t be expected to overcome that type of ineptitude.
Its not like the Penguins have Brent Johnson backing Fleury up now. Tomas Vokoun is a more than capable NHL goalie and at the first signs of struggle I would have given him the hook. Now the Islanders have some life, and it is a best of 3 series which doesn’t seem so daunting to be the gigantic underdog.
Bylsma might get applauded for making the move, but I think it is coming too late,, win or lose.