PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) — NHL on NBC Analyst Keith Jones joined The Cook and Poni Show on Thursday to recap the Penguins’ 3-1 win over Columbus in Game 1 of the playoffs and an old friend returning to the lineup to get that win.
Penguins’ starting goalie Matt Murray was injured in warmups and the Pens had to dust off an old friend, Marc-Andre Fleury, for the start.
Jones says it’s a nice option to be able to turn to another Stanley Cup Champion as the backup.
“I’m thankful that Jimmy Rutherford kept Marc-Andre Fleury at the deadline,” Jones said. “It ends up being a move that makes Jimmy Rutherford look smart again. He has done nothing but look smart since he has come over to the Pittsburgh Penguins.”
Jones added that the Pens can win another Stanley Cup with Fleury.
“There is no question that Murray is one of the elite goaltenders in the league,” Jones added. “But Fleury has been there before.”
Murray was injured in warm-ups before the game last night with what is being listed as a lower body injury. Jones tells the guys Fleury can hold the fort down and if he wins this first round they should ride him through the playoffs until he shows signs of struggle.
What about on the other side? What about Bob? That’s Blue Jackets goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky. Can he help the Blue Jackets win this series?
“He is extremely capable,” Jones said. “You don’t want him to get hot because he can steal a game for you. Can he win a series against Pittsburgh? Probably not, but he is good enough to put a scare in you.”
So who is his favorite to win the Stanley Cup?
“Pittsburgh,” Jones said. “The reason I like Pittsburgh better [than the Washington Capitals] is because center icemen win Stanley Cups, and until Backstom and Kuznetsov prove to me that they are as good as Crosby and Malkin when it counts, I can’t pick them.”
Listen to the full interview here, including his thoughts on Malkin’s return and what Letang’s injury means to the Pens defense: