Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/20/14
Picimg_pittsburgh_penguins_vs_3f5d
Dan Bylsma and the Pittsburgh Penguins apparently could only watch so much. There’s only so much you can take when you have one of the most talented rosters in all of hockey, yet you’re struggling to get out of the first round for what would be the third straight season. The obvious continuing (and disturbing) trend for the Penguins and their fans is the play in goal of Marc-Andre Fleury. The former No. 1 pick has been shaky at best and awful at worse for the better part of three straight playoffs now. The Pittsburgh netminder hit a new low Tuesday night into Wednesday, however. Fleury gave up six goals in the Penguins’ Game 4 loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, Bylsma made the change that needed to be made. The Pittsburgh head coach announced backup Tomas Vokoun would make the start in the pivotal Game 5. One would think that the job is now Vokoun’s to lose, especially the way Fleury has played in net. Fleury’s postseason struggles date back to the 2011 playoffs. Aside from a Game 2 loss in which he gave up four goals, he was really good, good enough to give Pittsburgh a 3-1 series lead against Tampa Bay. From there, though, it was a meltdown. He gave up four goals in Game 5, an 8-2 whooping from the Lightning. He then gave up four more in Game 6. Fleury rebounded in Game 7 giving up just a goal, but Dwayne Roloson was better, and the Penguins were gone. Last season was even worse. Fleury gave up 17 goals in the first three games, as Pittsburgh would fall behind 3-0 in the series. The Pens pushed it to a Game 6, only for Fleury to give up four more goals. Now, here he is just four games into this year’s playoffs. After shutting out the Islanders in Game 1, he’s allowed 14 goals in the three games that followed. Add it all up, and Fleury has allowed 40 goals in his last 10 playoff games, and 59 in his last 13. That’s not the only excuse for the Penguins, though. They didn’t have Sidney Crosby in 2011. Gone, too, that year was Evgeni Malkin. Their defensive corps, while not filled with Norris candidates this year, isn’t as bad as it was last year. The D-men were just as much to blame in 2012 as anything else. But this year was supposed to be different. Crosby and Malkin are both healthy. Chris Kunitz is having a career year. Kris Letang is a Norris candidate. Ray Shero went out and plucked veteran forwards Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow as well as big defenseman Doug Murray at the deadline. This team is loaded, everyone said. Except for in between the pipes. That one glaring question mark has become the all-too-obvious reason as to why the Islanders actually have a chance to derail the Penguins’ march to the Stanley Cup. For that, Bylsma and the rest of the Penguins coaching staff had to make a move. So now they turn to Vokoun, hoping he can at least be solid. That’s what must make Fleury’s struggles so infuriating for the Pens. They just need Fleury, basically, to not suck. The Penguins are going to score, and they’re going to be in position to win games. They don’t need someone to stand on his head, they just need someone who won’t blow up like Fleury has all too often. Vokoun should, in theory, be an improvement. His success against the Islanders probably makes the decision even easier. He’s appeared in four games this season against the Islanders and he’s made three starts. In those games, he’s 3-0-1 having stopped 98 of the 101 shots. So there’s the potential for him to be good. But the biggest thing he’s got going for him right now is that he’s not Marc-Andre Fleury. For that, the job is now his.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Falcons reportedly will lose pick over pumping in crowd noise

Report: Sam Bradford wouldn't sign extension with Browns

Jimbo Fisher: Winston is victim of ‘character assassination’

Russell Wilson on contract: 'It's going to work out'

Kentucky seeks one kind of history, Coach K makes another

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Matt Stafford's fiancee rips newspaper over article

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Frozen Four: Providence earns first bid since 1985

Report: Discussions to bring NFL team to L.A. are progressing

Report: Chris Mullin expected to take St. John's job

Michigan State beats Louisville, punches Final Four ticket

Top 10 stories from NCAA Tourney's second weekend

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: How can every team win?

WrestleMania 31 results: Rollins cashes in, Rousey appears

Five soon-to-be NBA free agents with a lot on the line

WATCH: Russell Wilson hits home run during Rangers BP

Hooked 'em: Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Adam Morrison trolled fan who made JJ Redick comment

Jim Harbaugh finished fourth in student government election

WATCH: Notre Dame gets warm reception upon return home

WATCH: Kris Letang hospitalized after hit

Aaron Rodgers, sportswriter get into it over on-court access

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Mayweather-Pacquiao: It's sparring tall-tale season

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: Can every team win?

Full WrestleMania 31 recap and results

Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Report: Chris Mullin to take St. John's job

Report: NFL looking into more cameras

CC Sabathia goes off about spring stats

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Texas eyeing Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.