One of the biggest stories of the 2016 Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run to this point has been the focus in net.
Marc-Andre Fleury has not played an NHL game since March 31st, when (ironically enough) it was ex-teammate James Neal who fired a shot on goal hard enough to hit Fleury's helmet and dislodge it. Fleury would finish that game (and play well in a 5-2 win) but would report his symptoms the next morning
Fleury would return to practice in time for playoff preparations in Round 1, but all his public comments have been guarded and he's openly talked about feeling rusty, not playing very sharp and has yet to be cleared by doctors. Officially his status is "day-to-day", though that empty hockey-ism has potentially never been more meaningless when it's describing a head injury.
MAF was one of just 7 players to venture on the ice today for a "practice", but unfortunately it's looking like his playoff status won't be changing any time soon.
Fleury say he's still experiencing symptoms. Added it's one of the toughest things he's been through.— Seth Rorabaugh (@emptynetters) April 25, 2016
Fleury practiced today but didn't say much that would indicate he's getting closer. He's frustrated but being a good teammate in meantime.— Bill West (@BWest_Trib) April 25, 2016
We still don't know the exact start of the Penguins and Capitals series (though some are thinking it could be Game 1 on Thursday) but one thing we do know is that there won't be a goalie controversy in Pittsburgh for some time to come.
The net is Matt Murray's and it's looking like it will be his for some time to come. Can the 21-year old goalie keep up the good work and keep the Pens playoff dreams going? Time will tell, but so far the youngster is off to a great start with 3 wins in as many playoff games and 13 for 16 when it comes to quality starts at the NHL level.