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Sidney Crosby and coach Dan Bylsma differ over how Marc-Andre Fleury should be used

Nov 9, 2010, 11:28 AM EDT

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One thing we’ve grown accustomed to from Penguins captain and superstar Sidney Crosby is that he’s generally a pretty bland guy when it comes to speaking out about anything. He’s careful with the media to a point where he’s virtually boring to talk to and when you’re arguably the biggest star in the league, you can’t help but feel just a little bit disappointed by that.

When it comes to speaking with him about his friends on the team that are struggling at the moment, however, it appears that Sid is a little bit easier to let loose with his thoughts. Such is the case when Crosby was asked about his thoughts on how struggling Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is being used while he’s playing poorly. Turns out that Crosby and Pens head coach Dan Bylsma differ in their opinions on how Fleury should be used. Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review gets the low down on the coach and the Kid having philosophical differences.

Coach Dan Bylsma strongly hinted otherwise Monday. He indicated Brent Johnson will start for the Penguins at home Wednesday night — adding that Fleury, the club’s struggling franchise goalie, “doesn’t have (confidence) right now.”

Crosby’s assessment differs. He thinks Fleury needs to play his way out of a funk.

“He’s going to have good games. It’s not like he can change overnight. He’s going to put strings of games together, and he can’t do that with one game. So, you’ve got to be patient, too, and let him get back there,” he said after a practice at Southpointe Iceoplex.

“With a goalie, you’ve got to give him time. He’s got to play four or five games maybe to prove that, but to sit here and question his psyche doesn’t really give him a chance.”

Before we get into this, let’s give it up for Sidney Crosby stepping up and saying something, anything, that’s at all worth discussing and generating discussion about things going on with the Pens. Many have gotten on Crosby’s case for being a captain at such a young age, but it appears he’s ready to start acting out in the media like a captain as well by letting his thoughts be known.

Fleury’s struggles this season are certainly a big deal for the Pens who have dealt with inconsistent play in goal as well as from their power play. The Pens problems certainly aren’t limited to goaltending but the team is still winning games so it’s tough to get really worked up about how things are going. If the Pens can’t get Fleury right, however, the long term effects of that on the team this season could lead to the Pens ending up fighting a bit harder for a top spot in the Eastern Conference.

  1. abrienza428 - Nov 9, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    You’re turning this into a bigger deal than it is. It’s not like Crosby said he disagrees with Bylsma or vice versa. It was two separate interviews, and they happened to say conflicting things. This is exactly why Crosby is so careful with the media. His statements are scrutinized far more than any other player and blown out of proportion.

    To comment on the real issue here:
    I’m in the middle, but leaning towards agreeing with Crosby. It’s early. Give Fleury a few games in a row with days off in between. Back-to-backs can be split. If he and the team tank it, then you can reconsider. But saying Fleury’s mentally unstable and not confident is just pure speculation. Crosby would know that more than anyone probably, and he’s already assured us that’s not the case.

  2. polegojim - Nov 9, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    The moment a coach starts listening to a player who just passed puberty, on who is or isn’t mentally stable…. they’ll get exactly what they deserve.

  3. jyeh66 - Nov 9, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    There’s no disagreement. Crosby is not the type to get invovled with coach’s decision and he has always put the team’s success ahead of everything else. His words were just taken out of context. Here’s what he said today:

    On if his feelings on the current goaltending situation have changed since Monday:
    “I was never asked about the goaltender situation. I was asked about “Flower’s” confidence, and what it would take for him to get his confidence back. That’s why I said he needs to get back into the net in order to do that. I didn’t have an opinion on the goaltending situation. As far as anybody’s confidence, that’s usually what it takes, whether you haven’t scored in a few games or whatever the case is. It usually takes to get into the swing of things to get that back. It doesn’t usually take one game, it takes a few. By no means was I taking any stance or push for a certain goalie to play. I was asked a question. I answered it. My quote was my quote, but I don’t think it was interpreted the same way.”

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