Penguins Update: Fleury, Fleury? – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Penguins Update: Fleury, Fleury?

I know it seems like I have a vendetta against Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Honestly, I don’t. But I was checking out some stats and stumbled upon something that I just had to share with our readers.

There’s a popular notion among Pens fans that Fleury is—or was—an elite playoff goalie. A quick glance at his playoff stats indicate that’s not the case. Based on the numbers the willowy Sorel, Quebec native has had one truly exceptional postseason—and that was in 2008 when we lost to Detroit in the Finals.

29 Marc Andre Fleury (G, PIT)

For emphasis, here’s a table that compares Fleury’s postseason save percentages with those of the Stanley Cup winning goalies for each year dating back to his first playoff appearance in 2007. The numbers are eye-popping:

Playoff Year Fleury’s Save Pct. Cup Winning Goalie Cup Winner’s Save Pct. Fleury Better or (Worse)
2007 .880 J-S Giguere, Ana. .922 (.042)
2008 .933 Chris Osgood, Det. .930 .003
2009 .908 M-A Fleury, Pit. .908
2010 .891 A. Niemi, Chi. .910 (.019)
2011 .899 T. Thomas, Bos. .940 (.041)
2012 .834 J. Quick, L.A. .946 (.112)
2013 .883 T. Rask, Bos. or C. Crawford, Chi. .929 or .935 (.046) or (.052)

Granted, save percentage isn’t a bottom-line indicator of effectiveness. There have been plenty of goalies—Gerry Cheevers, Battlin’ Billy Smith, and Grant Fuhr come to mind—who didn’t post flashy numbers but were winners all the same. Likewise, statistics don’t account for the fact that the Penguins play a fast (and loose) style that often leaves their goaltenders exposed.

Still, I think the numbers underscore how much Fleury’s postseason performances pale in comparison to his peers. It’s especially alarming in light of the fact that the Pens still regard him as a franchise goalie.

Whoever replaces the departed Gilles Meloche as goaltender coach will have his hands full. He’ll need to work long hours to improve “Flower’s” focus, consistency, and fundamentals, while rebuilding his fragile psyche. If the new mentor is up to the task, then hopefully the goalie who was good enough to hoist the Cup in 2009 will re-emerge.

*Be sure to check out Rick Buker’s books,
available at TriumphBooks.com, Amazon.com, and BarnesandNoble.com

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  1. Kencho's Gravatar Kencho
    June 29, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Oh, and one more thing: I hope the Pens require Flower to spend a lot of tie with a sports Psychologist this summer!

  2. Kencho's Gravatar Kencho
    June 29, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    If Letang signs the current (June 29) where does that put Duper. Iginla and Cookie?

  3. Stealth's Gravatar Stealth
    June 14, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    He’s been a consistent playoff gagger for the last four years… I hope the Pens ink him to a contract like that disaster Malkin just signed… 🙂

  4. June 13, 2013 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    Please get rid of the Flower.


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