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LeBrun: Pittsburgh shopping for backup goalie

Feb 24, 2012, 4:31 PM EDT

Marc Andre Fleury, Brent Johnson AP

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Pittsburgh Penguins are in the market for a backup goalie, looking for a replacement for current second-stringer Brent Johnson.

LeBrun notes that Minnesota backup Josh Harding is high on GM Ray Shero’s list. Harding, 27, is an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and has been solid for the Wild this year, posting a 9-9-3 record with a .919 save percentage and 2.59 GAA.

It’s not surprising the Penguins want a new caddy for Marc-Andre Fleury. Johnson’s been terrible of late — hooked in two of his last three starts — and as a result, Fleury has been forced into action on his days off, which he hates because as a salaried employee, he’s not eligible for time-and-a-half.  He’s got full dental though, which is nice.

Forcing Fleury into extended action has been a common theme in Pittsburgh this season. The Pens played 11 games in January and Flower was the goalie of record in 10 of them, a big reason why he’s on pace to set a career high in appearances.

  1. danphipps01 - Feb 24, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    NY ran Lundqvist into the ground like this for several years until they managed to nab Biron, and the results were that he was typically burnt out come playoff time. A goalie needs to have some sort of reserves to draw on when his team is in a tough series and he needs to be clutch, and if he’s been drawing on those all season to win, he just won’t have enough left in the tank. Harding’s a great option. St. Louis’ Ben Bishop is a good one too.

  2. malkinmilksyoumom - Feb 24, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Fleurys not a puss like queen henrik

    • elvispocomo - Feb 24, 2012 at 6:42 PM

      Thumbs up for who would like to see an I ban instituted on PHT?

      • govtminion - Feb 24, 2012 at 7:36 PM

        A thousand times, yes.

      • elvispocomo - Feb 26, 2012 at 12:40 PM

        Meant that to say “IP ban” but I’m glad people got the point.

  3. procrosbytalk - Feb 24, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    yea fluery is a man. not a gay

  4. govtminion - Feb 24, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Rick DiPietro: “Not here… not here… don’t let him come here… not here… God, not here… not here…”

    • pens919209 - Feb 24, 2012 at 5:57 PM

      I think DiPietro fractured his jaw while saying that.

  5. fleurysteeth - Feb 24, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Finally. My shoulders are sore from carrying the weight of the team. Maybe now I’ll finally get some time to model for Crest.

  6. bigbear42 - Feb 24, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    I always thought they would replace Johnson with Theissen

    • johninpa - Feb 24, 2012 at 7:59 PM

      Johnson’s had some bad games lately, but has had a couple good ones earlier this season. Considering how good he was in the last two seasons, I’d hate to see them give up on him. Looking at Theissen’s stats, his numbers aren’t that great, not a lot different than Johnson’s.

      • pens919209 - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:46 PM

        Your back-up goaltender has to be consistent when he’s called in to play; that means being comfortable not playing for long stretches and being able to pick up with little notice, or to get the random start. Johnson has had some nice games for the Pens, but his inconsistency is forcing them to use Fleury way too much.

        It’d be a shame for this team to (perhaps) get healthy for the playoffs only to have a goaltender who’s completely spent and a back-up who can’t stop the puck. If there’s a goalie out there to be had, the Pens need to get him.

  7. drewsylvania - Feb 24, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    I hear Ryan Miller’s available.

  8. Exiled1 - Feb 24, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Brent Johnson still plays in the NHL?

  9. writeit22 - Feb 29, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Back up for Fluery? look in Canada.

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