You don’t need a snazzy Danny Shirey chart to tell you that Tristan Jarry performed poorly in the playoffs over the last two weeks. But here it is to show just how bad it was, in reference to the goaltending performances in the Sidney Crosby / Evgeni Malkin era.
Here are the playoff performances of Penguins goaltenders since 2008, ranked by goals saved above expected. pic.twitter.com/L1EIrAoSuV— Danny (@shireyirving) May 28, 2021
The best thing for Marc-Andre Fleury’s legacy is that he left Pittsburgh. From 2010-13 he was the worst playoff goalie in the league. That’s easy to wash away with time, thanks to make a memorable Stanley Cup saving stop in 2009 and leaving a lasting final memory as shutting out the Capitals in Game 7 in 2017.
Otherwise, Fleury is all over the place. He’s got the high scores, and the lowest. That’s only fitting for how over the map he could be.
One of MAF’s lowest moments, in 2012, spurred the Penguins to go out and upgrade the position with a capable veteran in Tomas Vokoun. That paid off when Pittsburgh turned to Vokoun in the first round of the 2013 playoffs when Fleury was again struggling in the first round matchup against the Islanders and got benched. That first part sound familiar?
This year, there was no Vokoun as a safety net for the Pens. Casey DeSmith had a nice season, but was injured an unavailable. DeSmith has always quietly done his job pretty well, but will management see him as a goalie that can play and win multiple rounds if needed?
The one thing you know about goalies is that you never really know about goalies. Why was Matt Murray so good in 2016 and 2017 but then the magic disappeared? Why was Fleury’s playoff performances like throwing darts blindfolded? How does Tristan Jarry put up a 18-3-2 record with a .924 save percentage from February 18 - April 25 as one of the very best goalies in the league for a two+ month stretch and then look like he’s never played the position in May?
It will be a fascinating decision for Ron Hextall in a position he obviously knows very well. Does he put weight in the majority of Jarry’s season and hope for his consistency to improve? Or has the damage done this spring forced the Pens’ hands to look for a new goalie?