"Goaltending Gongshow" would be an appropriate headline for what went down at the Nassau Coliseum last night as the Islanders were able to tie the series. The goaltending on both sides has been bad, but last night's game may have been the ultimate display of goaltending ineptitude where Evgeni Nabokov was bad and Marc-Andre Fleury was ten times worse. The "quality start" metric is what is usually used to measure goaltender performance where all a goalie has to do is post a .912 save percentage in a game to give his team a chance to win. Neither goalie was able to do this last night with Nabokov allowing four goals on 31 shots and Fleury letting in an astounding six goals on 24 shots. "Shot quality" is always the common argument against this stat but anyone who watched the game last night shouldn't even bring this up because three of the goals Fleury let in were disgusting and he had to face only 11 Islander scoring chances as a whole.
The team in front of Fleury actually looked slightly better than they did in the last two games as they were able to limit the Islanders scoring chances and control the better part of this game. That would have been good enough for a win, but all stats kind of go out the window when 25% of the shots you give up end up in the back of your net. Three of the goals Fleury let in weren't even registered as scoring chances (Strait, Okposo & the second Streit goal), so that alone should tell you what the main problem was for the Penguins.
Fortunately for the Penguins, this is only a tied series and they are starting to look better than they did in the last two games, albeit that isn't saying much. They also have another goaltender who they can turn to in Tomas Vokoun and it wouldn't shock me if we see him in net on Thursday. Pittsburgh is at the point where they need to start the goalie who gives them the best chance to win and I'm not sure if that goalie is Fleury right now. I can't help but feel that the only reason he wasn't pulled from last night's game is because Nabokov was almost just as bad and kept the Penguins in the game.no comments