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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: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/3972439-74/fleury-vokoun-bylsma

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: http://triblive.com/sports/joestarkey/3931113-74/penguins-game-iginla#axzz2SnehJjZn

= 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:

http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/3971649-74/game-malkin-penguins#axzz2SnehJjZn

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: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/3971642-74/penguins-islanders-pass#axzz2SnehJjZn

Cheers,

Rossi

 

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

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