It's not being a 'Fleury apologist'...it's being able to evaluate the entire team performance. If Fleury is still in net in game 5, and the team comes out and plays the exact same game in front of him, we still win game 5. Can we at least agree on that? So we go to game six...where Vokoun was not super sharp...but neither was the team. The Isles controlled most of that game from pretty much the start. Vokoun let in 3...2 of which were meh if I remember correctly. He also made a couple huge saves. He was also the beneficiary of one horrible miss by Moulson that puts that game away for the Isles. It's not like he came in and we won 2-1 or 1-0...our offensive was still scraping out 3 or 4 goals while being severely outplayed at times.
I'm not sure I agree on Game 5. The Pens survived period one of game 5, with Vokoun making some very key saves. It was 0-0 after the first period and the Pens weren't great in that first period. Once TK got them on the board in the 2nd period, they sparked and took the game over. The way MAF was playing, if the Isles net one or two in the first period, the offensive outburst may never happen. So you are remembering a dominant game 5 performance based on the final score, but forgetting the ROCK SOLID first period by Vokoun that allowed the team to settle in.
In game 6, there's no question that the 2013 playoff Fleury loses that game. You can talk about if Moulson scored, but he didn't, Vokoun made other huge saves, and the Pens closed it out.
malkinshair wrote:To a man, the team has said that they let Fleury down, not the other way around. Vokoun has been great, but he's had great play in front of him. Crosby is untouchable right now. Malkin is heating up...as is Neal. Letang is becoming a dominant 2-way d-man. Martin is shutting everything down. The team's breakouts have improved dramatically since Bylsma started having the forwards come back lower in the D zone. These all make Vokoun's job easier. He's been solid, something that I'll admit Fleury was not, but he's not the MVP.
I'm not even going to get into the "team said they let him down" - bottom line, these are upstanding guys, they wouldn't throw their goalie under the bus, no matter how awful he played.
IMO, Vokoun is the MVP right now, because he stabilized a team that was about to be bounced from the playoffs by an inferior team for the 3rd time in four years due to poor goaltending. As I said, as the playoffs move on, we likely see Sid and/or Geno take that over.
The entire team is playing great hockey right now. James Neal has had exactly two good games in the playoffs and even he got a mention in this thread. It's difficult to single out one guy right now. It's clear that Vokoun provided the biggest improvement at a time when they needed it the most from the most important position on the team.