Everyone, whether it's us, you, or a veteran journalist, can be made to look like a fool when it comes to predicting a playoff series or how a certain player will perform. We've learned this the hard way recently when the Pens' season and Stanley Cup hopes were annihilated within a calendar week.
But you know one thing everyone can agree on? Tomas Vokoun took away some of the sting. By definition, he was the Penguins' MVP in the playoffs. God only knows how much worse the Boston series would've looked if the Pens were giving up 4 and 5 goals a game. Instead, in Games 3 and 4 of the Bruins series, the Pens' biggest games of the season (and on the road, no less), Tomas Vokoun turned in a 1.17GAA and a .953SV%. He was the only reason the Pens' were in pissing distance of the Bruins for both of those games.
And then Sunday happened. Dan Bylsma was asked about Marc-Andre Fleury's status:
Marc-Andre Fleury is our No. 1 goalie. He's the No. 1 goalie for this franchise. And he will be going forward. We were in a situation where Tomas Vokoun went in the net and won the third and fourth game of a series for us and continued to play. But you know, Marc-Andre Fleury is a guy who's going to come back to our team, and he's going to be the No. 1 goalie. He's going to be our franchise goalie. He's going to be this franchise's goalie.
And then he was asked what that means for Tomas Vokoun:
Tomas … um, I don't think is in any different boat than when he came in last year. He's going to play games for us, big games, but … next year, he's not going to get that opportunity because Marc-Andre Fleury's going to be in net for us winning hockey games.
Dude. What a kick in the nuts. The prevailing thought going into next season (if Fleury is still a Penguin) would realistically be that the net is Marc-Andre Fleury's to lose again. Even with that being the case, you don't come out and say it while pretty much dismissing everything Vokoun did for the team over the past month. Just smile and say, "Tomas played well for us, for sure. We have some stuff to look at this summer," yada yada yada.
Everyone but the most ardent MAF fanboys can go read Dejan's column about this and agree with everything he has to say. 100% on point. Dejan mentioned that this could simply be the Pens hyping up Fleury as best they can to see if any teams come calling about him, but come on. What a joke.