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(Pre)Game5LOG: Is Fleury finished? And how this isn’t on Malkin (or Crosby).


A gray, and potentially rainy Thursday in our fine ‘Burgh, and what pressure the Penguins face this evening for Game 5 of a Round 1 Stanley Cup playoff series that is tied, 2-2.

Some quick hits from Consol Energy Center:

= EARLY, EARLY word is that Game 6, Saturday at Nassau Coliseum, is likely to be played late in the afternoon, perhaps during the 4 p.m. hour. If so, a Game 7, if necessary on Sunday at Consol Energy Center, would be Sunday night.

All plans are pending, though.

= The Penguins’ goaltending situation is a hot topic, and it will be as long as the playoffs continue for this club.

Our Josh Yohe has a look at the latest, with Tomas Vokoun getting the call against the Islanders in Game 5:

Very good insight there from Josh, and a real good dose of perceptive here from columnist Joe Starkey, who correctly identifies what adversity would be:

= A bit of my own reporting on Wednesday leads me to suspect we’ve not seen the last of Marc-Andre Fleury if, say, the Penguins advance to Round 2. Something to think about, anyway, is that coach Dan Bylsma – breaking his own rule in naming a starter for Game 5 – did not name Vokoun the new starter, just the goalie for Game 5.

= Evgeni Malkin has had a polarizing postseason to date – take Game 4, when he was equally awesome early and sloppy late. He is puzzled by the up-and-down nature, too:

A lot of people are riding Malkin for his penalty and turnover in the third period of Game 4. To be sure, he would like those back. Still, Malkin has scored two goals and produced eight points in four games. This series being tied is not on him.

The notion, and it exists, that Malkin and Sidney Crosby, aren’t doing enough for the Penguins in recent postseasons – that notion is lousy.

Malkin and Crosby have combined to produce 10 goals and 30 points dating to last postseason. Those are numbers that would please Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr.

Now, that said, Lemieux or Jagr would have taken over a Game 5 at home in a series tied, 2-2, when he team was better. So, there’s that.

= The #TribHKY Insider examines the need for Bylsma to adjust:







Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

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