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Marc-André Fleury: A quandary for Pittsburgh, a headache for Canada

From Roy MacGregor of the Toronto Globe and Mail:

Three Dog Night had it all wrong.

One is not the loneliest number. It’s 29.

No. 29, also known as Marc-André Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins, is on the ice at Consol Energy Center. He is skating between Zambonis as they re-surface the ice: crouched over, head bowed, deep in thought that does not require a mind-reader to decipher.

What the hell has gone wrong?

Fleury is, or at least is supposed to be, the starting goaltender for what has been the strongest NHL team in the Eastern Conference. He is supposed to stop the pucks while Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jarome Iginla, and a cast of other hockey stars fire pucks into the opposition nets. He is supposed to backstop the Penguins to the 2013 Stanley Cup prior to taking over the net as Team Canada defends its Olympic gold medal in Sochi next February.

That was the dream, the plan – but recently it has gone off the rails.

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Comments

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

Pretty sad that their #1 goalie is riding the pine in the big games. Maybe it’s time they start thinking of a permanent replacement. Then again, I don’t really care about the Pens and I hope they lose to Ottawa.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 05/16/13 at 09:53 AM ET

Tony's avatar

Shocker….

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 05/16/13 at 10:07 AM ET

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Fleury = Sieve

Posted by timbits on 05/16/13 at 10:19 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

A change of scenery or a new coach might bring him back from the brink.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 05/16/13 at 11:03 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

(and by coach, I mean goaltending coach - not head coach)

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 05/16/13 at 11:13 AM ET

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Yeah, I agree with the new goalie coach as well.  Will it help?  Who knows, but Meloche has been there most, if not all of, MAF’s career and he is still plagued by the same issues he has had since day one. I do think if Vokoun falters, Fleury will retake the starting goalie position as he has always seemed to respond well to job security adversity in the past. At this point, the question is will he get that chance?

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 05/16/13 at 11:42 AM ET

Tony's avatar

I actually think if the Pens go up 3-0 against Ottawa, you would see MAF in Game 4….

First things first, though….. wink

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 05/16/13 at 12:32 PM ET

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They just shouldn’t force MAF in just because though.  I’ve always been pro Fleury, if I had to fall on one side or the other, but if Vokoun keeps playing well, there is no reason to put in Fleury.  Sucks for Fleury, but if the Pens win 16 games this postseason, I could care less who is in net.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 05/16/13 at 12:40 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Stick with Vokoun.  Babcock switched the Dom for Ozzie in the ‘08 playoffs and he never looked back.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 05/16/13 at 12:49 PM ET

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Forget giving Flower a “confidence” start, whatever that is. Vokoun’s got the best numbers of any playoff goaltender right now. Flower the worst: a distinction he’s had for about 3 or 4 straight years.

Unless Vokoun’s leg falls off or save percentage drops to a Fleury-esque .850, Flower shouldn’t see a second of additional playoff time.

Winners go with the better guy and don’t worry about this starter politics crap so many in Pittsburgh are so obsessed with. Didn’t see Bowman giving “let’s give a little confidence to this headcase” starts to Chris Osgood when Vernon was the better choice in net.

Posted by larry on 05/16/13 at 01:43 PM ET

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MAF’s career and he is still plagued by the same issues he has had since day one.

day 1… 2004 world juniors.

forshadowing

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 05/16/13 at 02:43 PM ET

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i mean ‘foreshadowing’.... sorry smile

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 05/16/13 at 02:44 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

The question is if Vokoun starts the rest of the playoffs for the Pens, what happens going forward.  You’re pretty much saying we don’t trust Fleury anymore, so it makes it interesting next season.  Vokoun certainly isn’t the future.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/16/13 at 03:06 PM ET

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Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.

Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.

I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes.  I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.

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