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Fleury gives the Penguins a huge advantage over every other team – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Fleury gives the Penguins a huge advantage over every other team

It was just over a week ago that many so called “fans” of the Pittsburgh Penguins were ready to run Marc-Arndre Fleury out of town.  The Penguins had just come off of a 5 -4 loss to the Ottawa Senators in Game 1 of their best of 7 series in which the “Flower” gave up 5 goals on 26 shots.  This equated to a pedestrian .807 save percentage, and in the eyes of many, it wasn’t just that he let in 5 goals but the fact that at least a few of them were easily preventable.  The call went out from many of these same folks for the Pens to start Brent Johnson in Game 2.  Fortunately, the Penguins are run by very sound management that is way too smart to listen to the rantings of the lunatic fringe.  Fleury was back to start Game 2 and although he let in what could be considered a questionable goal on Ottawa’s very first shot, he quickly got his bearings even after being jeered by some of his own fans when he did make an easy save on the next puck that trickled his way.

Since giving up that first goal in the opening minutes of Game 2, Fleury has held Ottawa to 6 goals in almost 3 complete games, and 2 of those goals came during 5 on 3 power plays for Ottawa.  Fleury stopped 65 of the next 71 shots he faced for a much better save percentage of .915, and again, if you remove the two 5 on 3 goals, the percentage is even higher.  Fleury’s career save percentage is only .907 which means he’s even playing above his usual rate which he tends to do once the games have more significance.  Remember, this is the same guy that held the Detroit Red Wings to 2 goals total in Games 6 and 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals last year.

If you take a look at the goalies playing for the other teams in the playoffs right now, I think Fleury gives the Penguins a huge advantage. 

Washington: Has already switched from Theodore to Varlamov, and he is still basically in his first season.

New Jersey: Martin Brodeur may have every goaltending record in the books, but his play against Philadelphia this year both in the regular season and the playoffs is mind boggling.  Philly just seems to have his number.

Buffalo: While Ryan Miller may be an MVP candidate this year as well as one of the front runners for the Vezina Trophy, his team just can’t score goals, and Miller won’t be able to shut out the opposition every night.

Boston: Tukka Rask has had a fantastic rookie season, but rookies just do not survive the playoff grind

Philadelphia: Does anyone really believe that Brian Boucher can carry them beyond the first round?

Out West, it doesn’t seem any better:

San Jose: Evgeni Nabokov, has there ever been a bigger playoff underachiever?

Detroit: Jimmy Howard (See Tukka Rask above)

Chicago: Antti Niemi (See Jimmy Howard), and if he falters, what do they really have…..Crystal Ball Huet???

Vancouver: Roberto Luongo.  He’s about the only one I would put at Fleury’s level.

Nashville: Pekka Rinne.  Playing unbelievable in his first playoff action, but see Buffalo Sabres above

Phoenix: Ilya Bryzgalov.  Another Vezina and possibly even Hart candidate.  He keeps them in a lot games, but again, first year playoff performers eventually wear down from the grind.

Los Angeles: Jon Quick (See Bryzgalov except for those Vezina and Hart comments)

Colorado: Craig Anderson.  The only reason that Colorado is tied with San Jose right now is because of Anderson, but how many times can he face 51 shots and expect to stop them all while his team only generates 21?

So after reading this entire list, tell me, who would you rather have than “The Flower”?  The answer for all of you Brent Johnson fans and Fleury hecklers is this man right here:



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11 Comments

  1. Walleye's Gravatar Walleye
    April 22, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    They need a PG poll on whether Johnson should be a starter for the Pirates – 20-0 they lost today. I bet he could pitch better.

  2. PenguinSteve-O's Gravatar PenguinSteve-O
    April 22, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I just found this survey done on the Pittsburgh Post Gazzette. Saying that after game 1 79% of the poeople of Pittsburgh wished Brent Johnson would of started game 2. Dumb.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/polls/default.asp?pollID=3592

    • McLovin's Gravatar McLovin
      April 22, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      I had to re-read that, I thought it said 179% of the people. I think Brodeur and Miller are overated, they play in a trap/defensive system which inflates or deflates their numbers however you look at it.

      Millers record under pressure hasn’t been so good this year, look at the overtime, late game losses with buffalo in the playoffs, plus the overtime Canada win in the Olympics.

      Because the Pens are more geared towards offense, Fleury see’s way more odd man breaks. It would be nice to see him have 1 game like the game Anderson had the other night.

  3. Yvonne's Gravatar Yvonne
    April 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I was surprised to see the anger directed at Flower after the first game. I am a dire hard Pens fan, but live in Oregon – One thing that I brag about is that the Pens fans don’t turn on their team like NY, NJ, etc. I knew that he was gonna come back after that one bad game, and the rest of the fans should have known that too.

  4. williams's Gravatar williams
    April 22, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    So after reading this entire list, tell me, who would you rather have than “The Flower”?

    (1) Ryan Miller
    (2) Martin Brodeur
    (3) Roberto Luongo

    For starters… sorry.

  5. 877111's Gravatar 877111
    April 22, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I beleive in Fleury, I worry sometimes watching him, but he always comes through when needed. He took us to the finals 2 years in a row, stop bitching about him!

  6. PJ's Gravatar PJ
    April 22, 2010 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Logged on this morning looking for Krundles usually compelling game day insight and I get this guy. Whats up???

  7. 29 Rock's Gravatar 29 Rock
    April 22, 2010 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I think I read somewhere that Fleury and Brodeur are the only two starting goaltenders playing in the playoffs right now that have won a Stanley Cup. Hopefully tomorrow morning Fleury is the only one.

    • 877111's Gravatar 877111
      April 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      If that is true that is cool, I guess Osgood isn’t starting. I couldn’t see one listed other than those 2.


            

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