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Penguins GM wouldn’t mind if Fleury takes Olympic snub personally

Jul 24, 2013, 9:58 AM EDT

Marc-Andre Fleury Getty Images

When Team Canada announced its list of players invited to their orientation camp, five goaltenders were included and none of them were Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury.

It looks like after years of struggling in the playoffs, his country has serious concerns about how he might perform internationally.

“The Olympic thing, I’m not going to make too much of,” Penguins GM Ray Shero told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “But if he takes something personal, good for him.”

Being excluded from orientation camp doesn’t necessarily mean that Fleury won’t make the team, but he’ll have a particularly tough time. After all, if his performance in the playoffs is truly the problem, then that might be an unsolvable issue because he won’t get another shot at postseason redemption until after the Olympics.

Fleury might get off to a strong start in 2013-14, but his regular season performance has been adequate to great over the last few years anyways.

“The playoffs are the question mark he’s had the past four years,” Shero said. “I think it’s probably something on his mind.”

Perhaps Fleury will take the snub personally and that will be the motivation he needs going forward, even if it might be too late at this point for him to earn an Olympic spot.

  1. ethanmacleod1685 - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Wo cares, he’s terrible

    • miketoasty - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:28 AM

      I wouldn’t go that far just yet, he has two Stanley Cup appearances to his name, and a Stanley Cup ring. He’s had a rough couple of playoff series (Well two, you can’t put the Montreal or Tampa Bay series on his shoulders), should be interesting to see what happens this year. Obviously if he does flub again, after getting a full season in it may be the end of the line for him, but until that point I still have faith in him… Okay maybe I won’t go that far, I have confidence that he can’t be this terrible after starting off his career so strong.

      • isithockeyseasonyet - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:00 AM

        If you weren’t a penguins fan, you would be on here saying he sucks

      • miketoasty - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        Claude Giroux is a great player. Your move.

      • c9castine - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:33 PM

        if he wasnt a penguins fan, he would be on here saying he sucks because he would have no perspective. everybody skips over the ridiculous amount of wins he racks up and the 45-34 playoff record he still holds and just focuses on the last two playoff series he has played. he certainly has played bad in those two series and needs to prove he can get back into winning big games, but calling him terrible is pretty far off base.

      • f2maestro - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        I agree. Those who blindly bash Fleury need a little perspective. Anyone who has paid attention to Fleury since he started in the NHL has seen his talent level could potentially be ranked top 5 in the NHL, however as Fleury is coming to find out, relying purely on reflexes and talent won’t get you deep into the Playoffs. If Fleury does get his mind right and does find a way to calm down in net, he will be one of the better goalies for the next 5 years. The flip side of that coin though, if he does not fix his mental issues he will continue to fail.

        I hope for Fleury’s sake he does resolve his mental issues and comes back with a strong season/post-season this year.

    • isithockeyseasonyet - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      What perspective do you need besides his recent playoff adventures? I’m not saying he’s not talented, when fleury is on, he’s lights out but goaltending is majoritively mental and clearly, fleury isn’t w it anymore come playoff time.

      I don’t have a lot of interest in having a debate about Claude giroux but if you really want to:
      1) his playoff numbers are really good
      2) he had a bad year but still would be considered good numbers at the money he is making(numbers wont be acceptable once the contract sets in)
      3) no he’s not as good as crosby, period.
      4) the book on giroux is not out yet, his next 2-3 years will define how he is perceived nationally
      5) If any of you can find a spot in this post or any others where I say ‘fleury sucks’, you let me know. And that regulation wins comment…for all the ‘when’s the last time the flyers won’ comments pens fans like to throw out there, that one is a bit of a cop out

  2. stakex - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    Its not a snub when the five other goalies are better then Fleury. I would take any one of them over Fleury in a heartbeat…. and I bet the Pens would too if they had a choice. The argument could be made that Smith isn’t as good, but he carried the Coyotes deep into the playoffs last year, which is more then Fleury has done lately.

    The fact that anyone would even call this a snub continues to show Fleury is the most over rated player in the NHL. He is a backup quality goaltender, and only gets by with the Pens because of how high powered their offense is. Once he actually has pressure on, and has to make key saves… its game over almost every time. Hell, the Pens made their first deep playoff push in four years and the only reason they were able to was because Fleury was on the bench…. and this guy should have been invited to the camp? That’s funny.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      I think one could argue whether Carey Price is “better” than Fleury. He’s underperformed quite a bit, too. One of the key reasons Fleury is known as a playoff flopper is because he plays in the playoffs EVERY year. Smith, Price, and Crawford don’t even have the playoff experience to be known as playoff floppers. They’ve all had one good playoff year. If you look solely off of his regular season play he is average. I’m certainly not saying he deserves a spot, because I don’t think he does. I just wouldn’t be so quick to say that all the goalies that got invited are absolutely better goalies. I thought Brodeur was a bigger snub than Fleury and should have got the invite over some selected.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:17 AM

        The thing with Cory is that he continues to improve.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        Fleury looked like he was easily going to be the franchise goalie. His first three playoff appearances included 2 trips to the cup including one where he won and another where he had the best S% if any goaltender. I’m not trying to downplay Crawford’s performance either, I’m simply saying that 3 good playoff years doesn’t mean s*** in the long run when you are on a team with skaters as talented as the Pens or Hawks. If there was ever a con of winning the Stanley cup and being a playoff hero is that people come to expect excellence out if you every time your on the ice. There are no more “off years” just years where you were “overrated” and everybody reminded you that you were.

    • hockey412 - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      You sir, are something of a boob. Actually your boobage is getting bigger by the day. How is Fleury overrated, when the guy gets called horrible by pretty much every half-wit on here (that would be you)…the fact is, Fleury has been horrible in the play-offs…please see article above (if you even bothered to read it..I am thinking you didn’t).

      Those play-off disappointments have actually made Fleury UNDER-rated somewhat. He’s not as bad as you go on and on about. His regular seasons have been very good, actually, not elite, but no one has called Fleury elite for a long, long time.

      Fleury – 23W (out of 33) / .916 SV% / 2.39 GAA
      Holtby – 23W (out of 36) / .920 SV% / 2.58 GAA
      Price – 21W (out of 39) / .905 SV% / 2.59 GAA
      Luongo – 9W (out of 20) / .907 SV% / 2.56 GAA

      So…..basically your sh*t just don’t make sense. There are lots of Pens haters out there, and Pens fans love it, believe me. I’m not fan of yours either. But at least make a valid point. Yours is just not. His failures in the play-offs were documented in the article above…again, if you bothered to read it.

    • c9castine - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      better? based on what? braden holtby you kidding me? carey price has won NOTHING. atleast fleury gets his team to the show on a consistent basis and has WON IT ALL in the past. only guys on this list that should be considered better than fleury right now are luongo and crawford. and they have both had terrible playoff series in their past and only one has won the cup like fleury has. MIKE SMITH?? hahaha….

      like i said, i understand fleury has some proving to do, and wouldn’t complain he wasn’t invited at this point. but people saying hes a backup and he sucks are being quite dramatic.

    • President Charles Logan - Jul 24, 2013 at 6:37 PM

      and this is coming from a fan of a goaltender that’s never even led his team to the SC Finals

  3. zachammer69 - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    This should be good for his confidence

  4. ntvd7 - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    This will either…

    Crush his confidence or inspire him to have the best season of his life

    I’m going to love watching the results…

    • miketoasty - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      Is it even possible to crush his confidence any more than where it is at now? I really believe that is the number one reason he has had such terrible performances, we all know he has the physical ability but you also have to be in it mentally as well.

      • ntvd7 - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        He had a baby this year so that might have been a distraction

        When he’s on he’s ON

        And when he’s off, it’s hard to watch

      • smeetoo - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        Exactly ntvd7, you never know what Fleury you’re going to get! Every time I want to give up on him, I think back to his 55 saves in the triple overtime win in 2008 finals over the Red Wings…where Osgood only had 28 saves! Talk about standing up to the onslaught! Where did that guy go?

  5. steelbloggin - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Olympic invitations go to the perceived best talent, clearly he is not in that group right now. If he’s not offended, it’s because he’s content to be a second/third class goalie. He sat on the bench at the last Olympics anyway. He’s regressed in performance since then, and he should own that. Wave the flag and acknowledge that the other invitees give Canada the better chance to win a medal!

  6. sjsharks66 - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    I don’t see how he is the most overrated player in the NHL. That is a pretty dramatic statement.

  7. laxman1944 - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Getting Scuderi back will help i’m thinking.

  8. chmza - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    2008-09 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 62 1 8 3641 162 5 4 2.67 35 18 7 1688 0.912 24 0 2
    2009-10 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 67 1 10 3798 168 4 1 2.65 37 21 6 1604 0.905 13 0 2
    2010-11 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 65 1 10 3695 143 5 3 2.32 36 20 5 1599 0.918 7 0 0
    2011-12 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 67 2 4 3896 153 6 3 2.36 42 17 4 1615 0.913 6 1 0
    2012-13 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 33 2 2 1858 74 0 1 2.39 23 8 0 807 0.916 5 1 0

    How in the world can you say “his regular season performance has been adequate to great over the last few years” with those save percentage numbers. Not even league average.

    • pensfan1 - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      I agree. It’s easy to look good when your offense scores one more than you give up. And in the past the offense was capable of scoring 8 when he gave up 7. Makes it easy to look good but they can’t do that (enough) anymore. I’ve been a Pens fan since the beginning and that won’t change but it gets hard to watch when you don’t know which Fleury will show up to play. The adage “moments of brilliance followed by interminable periods of boredom” can apply to him. At least that can account for a stellar 55 save performance in the midst of mediocrity.

      Maybe the snub will be what it takes to stand on his head in net.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      Because the Pens D has been “below adequate to average” the last few years and if judging a players talent is as easy as reading a stat sheet then the world would be a better place. A noticeable amount of a goalies success can depend on the team defense being played in front of him and the system his coach runs. its why Bryz and Smith look like superstars in Phoenix in Tippetts system. If you put Lundqvist in a Pens uniform, he’d still be good but you can bet your bottom dollar his stats dont look as good as they did in Torts’ defense first system. Fleury’s flexibility and breakaway potential is still tops in the league. As long as Bylsma is in Pittsburgh running this system there will NEVER be a Vezina winner from Pittsburgh. Anything around a .92 S% is adequate. Fleury keeps it at that and you let Malkin, Crosby, Letang, Neal and Kunitz do the rest. If Fleury is putting up those numbers and the Pens still aren’t winning then that’s really not his fault. If shutdown goalies were easy to come by then we’d all just sit here with our Lundqvists and be happy.

    • hockey412 - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      Well, for one of the seasons you listed he won the cup…for two of them he made the final, and for all of them they made the play-offs. Deep runs in 3 of the 5 (though you can’t give him credit for this year’s). Not sure who you were addressing, but if winning the cup isn’t ‘adequate’, let alone ‘good’ then I give up.

      • hockey412 - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        I was off by one year in my analysis…my fault, ignore me.

  9. mrpinkca - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    At this point I don’t think snub is an appropriate term. It’s been quite awhile since Fleury has had a season that would merit Olympic consideration (07′-08′). That plus the complete implosions in the playoffs.

    Even with Canada’s goaltending situation he shouldn’t be considered a snub.

  10. girouxed - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Yea he has a stanley cup ring and another appearance.. so does Ilya Bryzgalov.

    • miketoasty - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      What? Are you seriously saying that a backup goaltender with a ring compares to a goaltender that actually won a Stanley Cup? Oh, and Bryzgalov only made it to the finals once, when Giguire led the way.

      • girouxed - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        lol that got your attention.
        you patrol these comments with authority dont you? I know bryz only made it once as a backup

      • miketoasty - Jul 25, 2013 at 10:16 AM

        So basically you were just trolling? Because that makes you better than me and my attempts to trade ideas with other fans of the sport I enjoy?

  11. slysipops - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    IT’S OVER FOR THE PENS! doesn’t matter who’s in the net ! between the CORE 5 and the also-rans playing for them…it won’t be enough ! face it PENNIES…. they probibly won’t make the playoffs, so whether he’s a playoff goalie or not, don’t make a difference !

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