Fleury – Pens Goalie Needs to be the Best Player on the Ice – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Fleury – Pens Goalie Needs to be the Best Player on the Ice

The Pens are back in the series.  Many feel that they should be ahead in the series except for the play of one man.  Apologies to 8 but Varlamov has been the Capitals best player in all three games.  Now it is Mark Andre Fleury’s turn.  The Pens still need some other players to help out — Jordan Staal 0 – 1 – 1    -4  and Chris Kunitz 0 – 4 – 4    + 2 (playing on a line with Guerrin and Crosby who are both + 5)  in particular.  But if the Pens are to win this series and get closer to Lord Stanley’s Cup, Fleury needs to be the Penguins best player, or at least better than Varlamov.  Fleury has not been bad to date,   just not as good as he can be.  He was a first overall pick, a franchise goalie, a difference-maker.  Except for Game 4 of the Flyers series, he has not been the difference. 

Take a look at the stats of the eight goalies still remaining in the playoffs: 

Goalies         Save Percentages        Goals Against Average         Won/Lost
Hiller                    .955                                      1.74  (3rd)                    6 – 3
Varlamov             .942                                      1.64 (1st)                      6 – 3
Thomas                .941                                      1.71 (2nd)                     5 – 2
Luongo                 .935                                     1.92                               6 – 1
Ward                    .935                                     2.07 (6th)                       6 – 4
Osgood                 .926                                    1.96 (5th)                       5 – 2
Fleury                    .913                                    2.55                                5 – 4
Khabibulin             .897                                    2.81                                5 – 4

Fleury is seventh in EVERY category.  Stanley Cups are generally won by the teams getting the best goal-tending.  The stats don’t lie.  Right now Fleury is not perfoming to expectations.   I am not looking to stir the pot here — just trying to light a little fire under the Penguin goaltender.   Fleury must play better.  He has the ability, his teammates count on him, and we all know he can do it. 

The Penguins now have the opportunity to even things up on Friday night.  The excitement generated by the fans on Wednesday night will be dwarfed by the Penguin faithful on Friday night at Mellon Arena.  The weekend is here — PLAYOFF HOCKEY IN THE BURGH!!!  LET’S GET IT ON!!!!!!   That’s the view from E-11.

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  1. PENZRGR8's Gravatar PENZRGR8
    May 8, 2009 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    I think Fleury is a great goaltender, however, the other night, he seemed to be off his game and I was glad Washington only had 20 some shots. Maybe it was the fluke goal that set him off his game, I don’t know.

    However, we know Fleury has it in him to play awesome.

    Definitely think some people need to step up and hopefully, they will feed off of game three and make things happen. As did Malkin, Crosby, Talbot, Fedetenko, Gill and DuPuis. (In no particular order.)

    Nice story – STH35.

  2. Kutdacheez's Gravatar Kutdacheez
    May 8, 2009 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Here it is, we are three games into this series and the announcers will again tell us how important the first goal is. Yet, the one scoring the first goal has lost every game. The WASH CAPS are a formidable opponent and Ovechnik is really a good player. Yet, while we list players who need to step up they are in the same spot. I think the GM and coach of the WASH CAPS are worried and are working the refs. That’s a PC word for whining. McPhee’s whining and Boudreau is whining and these WASH CAPS are sounding a tad like the FLY$ right now. LOL. That’s a sign that they are not only wearing down but the Pens speed is getting to them too. I’m thinking on National Prayer Day they might have requested that Varlamov continue his play. A scary thing is during a spell check Ovechkin came up with the suggestion of “overcooking” and Varlamov with the suggestion “alamo” . . . that, so far has been pretty much -right on.

    Go Pens.

  3. PenQuin's Gravatar PenQuin
    May 7, 2009 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    I also have no problem with Marc-Andre. He`s good, real good and he`ll get better. I have a lot of confidence in that kid. He`s really special and it will show during this series. The Capitals are rather a unique team in the fact that they can score goals at the oddest times. It might be their skill level, their size, Ovechkin`s distraction of just being on the ice, whatever it is they can score even after getting beat to the puck and being dominated by the puck handling skills of the Pens. But that will eventually wear them down. Their is no question in my mind, that if Jose Theodore was in goal, the Pens would destroy the Capitals in this series. That said, the Caps found themselves a real impressive netminder in this Varlamov kid. He can be beat, and the way the Pens have played, especially in last night`s game, I have no problem saying the Pens are the better team. The only argument the Caps fans can give me is, Varlamov is part of our team and they`d be right. If the Pens can keep doing what they are now doing, they will come out the winners in this round. They have exposed the Capitals slow footed D-Men with their puck skills and speed, and with that said, they will eventually get to Varlamov. They`re shooting the puck and their going to the net, they will frustrate Varlamov as Bill Guerin did while standing in front of him while Malkin ripped one by the Russian rookie. The kid through his arms up in the air and that showed he was frustrated. He`s good but he`s still a rookie and it will show, maybe as early as tomorrow night`s game. If Malkin stays mad at himself for his invisability in the first two games of this series, we have a real good chance!

  4. PenguinSteve-O's Gravatar PenguinSteve-O
    May 7, 2009 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Varlamov is playing amazing hockey but AO is their best player by far in this series. without him to this point Pens would be 3-0. he is on the ice for every goal the get pretty much. my 2 cents.

  5. A Slick's Gravatar A Slick
    May 7, 2009 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Let’s try to include some other numbers into the stats:
    Fluery is 3rd in shots on goal
    He’s tied for 5th in wins one win out of first.
    If we played the Rangers in the first round things might be different in the stat category.
    And, this is a 4 game series of 4 games.

    No offense intended, STH35. I just don’t like to see people taking shots at goaltenders – unless of course they once played in goal. I did.
    The pressure is always on goaltenders and the people with calculators always find fault. In my day I think they used slide rulers but the result was just the same.
    It would be nice to see Fluery raise his level of play and handle the puck better and personally I think 29 is a strange number. But when Barrasso was cruising on his way to 2 Stanley Cups no one cared much about anything more than solid performances and wins. Barrasso’s in ’91: GAA 2.60 SV% .919; In ’92: GAA 2.82 SV% .907 —

    Fleury is 5 – 1 in his last 7 playoff series and this one hasn’t been decided. And, for the record I think most Penguin fans would think Tommy Barrasso was the best goalie in Penguin history.

    Wow, I didn’t intend to sound so cruel here in my first post I just don’t like goalies getting attacked. I have another complaint and that’s calling Ovechkin: GR8, AO, OV, OVIE, and now just 8. IMHO this is demeaning to 66 and 99. This guy hasn’t ‘earned’ that kind of a reference yet. Quite frankly he shouldn’t be mentioned in 66’s or 99’s company. Ovechkin is Ovechkin especially when we are playing a team who’s fans refer to Sidney Crosby as Cindy. And with Ovechkin attempting to upstaged him.
    Geez.. I may sound like a grumpy old man here – I hope you guys don’t dismiss me. Just my opinion.
    Also, if Varlamov plays more than the amount of games that Jim Carey (Vezina winner) did before he got dispatched (by the Caps) to parts unknown then I’ll agree. Right now he’s playing well and the Penguins could still be up 3 – 0 as much as they could be down 1 -2.

    Thanks for reading my post.


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