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Not The Best Of Times For Marc-Andre Fleury

from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

First, his team shunned him. Now, his country.

Could the entire world be next?

“The Olympic thing, I'm not going to make too much of,” said Penguins general manager Ray Shero, busy with Team USA and not inclined to opine on Team Canada, which invited five goalies not named Fleury to its tryout camp. “But if he takes something personal, good for him.”

Good for him, indeed. Maybe it's time Fleury got ticked off. It's time for him to take more ownership of his career and reclaim his lost reputation as a big-game goalie.

The Penguins are making the right move in retaining Fleury, for these reasons:

• He's still young (28) and highly productive in the regular season. This isn't exactly the golden age of goalies, you know. After Henrik Lundqvist, who has yet to play for a Cup, there aren't many goalies sporting lengthy resumes that scream, “franchise player!” At least you can pencil in Fleury for 35-plus wins.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc-andre+fleury

Comments

Primis's avatar

Fleury is not one of the top 3 or 4 Canadian goalies, so I don’t know what the problem is.  If he legitimately thinks he is, he’s dumber than we all thought.

He’s still young (28) and highly productive in the regular season. This isn’t exactly the golden age of goalies, you know. After Henrik Lundqvist, who has yet to play for a Cup, there aren’t many goalies sporting lengthy resumes that scream, “franchise player!” At least you can pencil in Fleury for 35-plus wins.

Those 35 wins would probably come if Fleury were not in net.  PIT tends to win in spite of Fleury, not because of.

There are plenty of “franchise ” goalies around the league.  The “golden” era of goalies (considered by most anyways) came before teams used different tactics like net-front presence and before defensemen tried like crazy to block shots and sometimes deflected them making it harder on their own goalie.,

Posted by Primis on 07/24/13 at 09:31 AM ET

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Fleury is a great person… BUT, he is not the goalie for the penguins.  His time is over.  Both parties need a change.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 07/24/13 at 10:15 AM ET

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Considering there are no quotes from Fleury, it’s hard to tell what he is thinking. I don’t believe it’s time for a split between the organization and MAF. they literally have no one to fill in at this point and its difficult to put your future in Vokoun as he is older. Like Shero, I hope he take this personal, as well as his poor performance in the playoffs. If this makes him mad, there’s only one way to change it and that is to play better.

I still think if he earns the chance again as a starter for the Pens he will thrive. Time will tell

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 07/24/13 at 10:53 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

I sincerely wonder if (like Steve Mason) his development was rushed to the point where he peaked early. When I watch him play, it’s mental errors, not physical issues that keep him from making those saves. Had they given him more time to develop and taught him how to rebound, he’d probably be a top tier goalie still. Instead, they rode him hard while hot and put him away wet.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 07/24/13 at 11:00 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Considering there are no quotes from Fleury, it’s hard to tell what he is thinking.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 07/24/13 at 11:53 AM ET

“Don’t trip stepping onto the ice…. don’t trip stepping onto the ice… don’t trip stepping onto the ice….”

Seriously though, Fleury has not played a minute of international competition since losing the WJC’s to USA in 2004.  He got Silver twice, but was the losing goalie in the Gold Medal Game both times, including his infamous deflection off his own player into the net for USA’s GWG in 2004.

It’s entirely possible Canada has not entirely forgiven him for WJC Silver twice, and no… I’m not joking or kidding.

Posted by Primis on 07/24/13 at 11:42 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

The reasons the Pens still have MAF are:
- NMC
- What wants to pay a goalie $10 million for two more years of unexpected, likely inconsistent results?
- Vokoun filled the gap nicely last year and there’s no reason not to expect that he can do it again this year.

Bottom line, I think they are just riding the contract out, then they can move on.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/24/13 at 12:24 PM ET

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I used to think it was Fleury’s yellow pads that made him play erratically and give up the big juicy rebounds. Then he was injured, came back and seemed more steady in goal. It seems the longer he plays the worse he gets by overplaying everything. Time off and a chance to re-focus may help him get his game back, but not in time for the Olympics.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 07/24/13 at 03:54 PM ET

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To me it seems like Fleury’s thing has always been that he’s a phenomenal athlete with poor fundamentals. So he makes his fair share of crazy good saves (and looks great while doing it) but also lets in a lot of rubbish. Statistically speaking, it washes out to a goalie with slightly below average numbers. Which is another way of saying that I think Fleury is a decent backup goalie at the NHL level, but not someone you want as a long-term starter.

The bad news is that, because he was a top pick in the draft, he won a Cup, and his athleticism makes it /look/ like he’s much better than he is, he’s still overrated by many and has that ridiculous contract.

The good news is that, if he’s honest with himself and can totally commit to breaking down and reinventing his game, I think he can still be a great goalie. He has all the physical tools. He’s in great shape. He just needs to learn how to play the position properly.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/25/13 at 07:59 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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