Penguins hire new goalie coach
The Pittsburgh Penguins announced the hiring of goaltending coach Mike Bales on Monday. Bales will replace the outgoing goaltending coach Gilles Meloche, who had coached Penguins goaltenders since the 2006-07 season.
Bales had spent the past couple of seasons working with the Penguins' AHL affiliate the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton had the lowest goals-against average in the AHL in Bales' second season on the job (they were 14th among AHL clubs in that statistical category the season previous).
Bales appeared in 23 NHL games during a five year NHL career in the mid-90s. He retired from professional hockey after the 2009-10 season following a six year run with the Straubing Tigers.
The focus will now turn to whether or not Bales' coaching can help average starter Marc-Andre Fleury rebuild his reputation.
Despite posting a .927 even-strength save percentage in 31 appearances during the regular season in 2013, Fleury's postseason struggles (for a second season in a row) allowed Tomas Vokoun to wrest the starters mantle away from the former first overall pick in the playoffs.