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Penguins’ goalie Fleury has been just ‘OK’

Sep 21, 2013, 11:50 PM EDT

Boston Bruins v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

It’s only exhibition and doesn’t count toward the standings, but Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had another tough showing.

Fleury, who has struggled mightily in the last two post-seasons, allowed four goals on just 23 shots in Saturday’s 5-3 pre-season loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.  And his play doesn’t necessarily lend itself to the most pleasing of reviews.

“He’s been OK, it’s been OK,” Penguins general manager Ray Shero said Saturday, as per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“It’s a work in progress, I think. You see that with a number of our players.”

Fleury, 28, made five appearances during the 2013 playoffs, before giving way to Tomas Vokoun after allowing 14 goals in four starts against the New York Islanders in the opening round.

Despite his struggles, the Penguins went out of their way following the series loss to the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference final to name Fleury their No. 1 goalie for the upcoming season.

A vote of confidence that is, the pressure on Fleury’s shoulders grew immensely on Saturday.

On Saturday, Vokoun had a blood clot in his pelvis dissolved and there has been no time frame for his return to the lineup.

In the meantime, Jeff Zatkoff, 26 years of age and with no NHL experience, will be given the chance to assume the No. 2 role while Vokoun remains out.

  1. steelers88 - Sep 22, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    Flurey Sucks!

    • illashell - Sep 22, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      Go back to watching football and pounding your meat claws on the table every time Ben doesn’t “throw da bawl”.

      • isithockeyseasonyet - Sep 22, 2013 at 9:34 PM

        What kind of retarded rebuddle was that? Looks like someone’s cranky and needed a place to whine about not liking football

  2. c9castine - Sep 22, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    flurey might suck not sure who that is but fleury will be just fine.

  3. stakex - Sep 22, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    I’ve said it a lot in the past, and I’ll say it again…. Fleury was never anything but an OK goalie his entire career.

    There is this false notion that he was, at one point, one of the best goalies in the NHL. That’s just not the case though. He’s never been anywhere near Vezina contention, and his stats have always been middle of the pack at the best of times. If he wasn’t playing for such an offensively talented team, he would probably be a backup right now. This isn’t a guy looking to get back to being a super star…. he never was a super star to begin with.

    So if Fleury plays just OK this year, its important to remember that’s just how he plays. He’s not a top tier goalie, and likely never will be… and Pens fans (and the media) shouldn’t freak out if he doesn’t play like one.

    • freneticgarfieldfan - Sep 22, 2013 at 2:30 AM

      Truth to be told… But in Pit, he gets superstar money.

      • killerpgh - Sep 22, 2013 at 2:38 PM

        MAF has the 14th highest cap hit currently among goalies. Plus Crawford extension has a higher cap hit but doesn’t kick in until next season. But according to you have a goalie paid in the middle of the pack is getting “superstar money”.

    • occupytaxes - Sep 22, 2013 at 3:21 AM

      How did you ever type that line of bull? Fleury has been up there with the top goalies for years now during the regular season. Post season has been different since winning the Cup though. But as I asked below who is going to make up for all the wins he brings in?

      • stakex - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        I guess hockey is like politics… its hard to see the truth through your own bias. Sure, I’m not a Pens fan, but I can look at stats.

        The only stat Fleury is ever among the league leaders on is wins. That’s it. His career regular season GAA is 2.66 and his career S% is .910. Those are NOT top goalie numbers no matter what kind of spin you want to put on it. More to the point, his best single season GAA was 2.32, and his best S% was .921 (in only 35 games). Those are his BEST seasons, and those numbers would have had him ranked 15th in the NHL last year.

        Stats don’t lie over the course of several years, and the dude has never been a top goalie. The good thing about facts are that they are true even if you don’t believe them.

    • c9castine - Sep 22, 2013 at 8:29 AM

      Case could be made that he has never had more than a OK defense and yet has one of the best active playoff records and regular season records while still maintaining a save percentage over .900. Everybody wants to slam the puttsburgh defense but i guess you still expect vezina numbers from the goalie.

    • 2jivecrew - Sep 22, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      You could say the same about Ovie, who has never at any point been more than a one trick pony. It was always ridiculous that he was ever even in the discussion of “best player in the world”. While Fleury has struggled in the playoffs in recent years, he’s rock solid during the regular season and the numbers reflect that. He sure robbed Ovie’s ass point blank when it mattered most…….en route to a Cup.

      That said, I was hoping they’d trade him over the offseason for a used puck bag and hopefully a few rolls of tape thrown in.

    • drone501 - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:59 AM

      as a pens fan im not expecting much. seen his style of play too long. he is unreliable in close games a very unreliable when playoffs come around. a real head case.

  4. pitpenguinsrulez - Sep 22, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    Boy I sure didn’t miss hearing your garbage Stakex…I think someone should go hire you for their hockey expertise.

    • stakex - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      Whatever man…. I don’t really care what some bandwagon jumper cares. Truth is the truth.

  5. occupytaxes - Sep 22, 2013 at 3:16 AM

    Fleury has been one of the most dominate regular season goalies in recent years. Sure his post season record has dropped since winning the Cup but winning regular season games is very important. And to any fool who wants to trade Fleury who makes up for his wins? The Pens have no one who can win that many games. No one.

    If he tanks it in the playoffs again this season then of course his career with the Pens is over. Even as a Fluery guy I know this. But if it happens the Pens better be ready to open up their pockets to sign a big name goalie.

    • stakex - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      Dominant in wins, which is easy when the team in front of you is scoring 4-5 goals every night. Not dominant in any other goaltender stat.

      • occupytaxes - Sep 23, 2013 at 12:52 AM

        If it is so easy why couldn’t Vokoun do it. You do realize Vokoun had a rough regular season? And look at Fleury’s numbers and Lundqvist. They aren’t much different and Lundqvist is indeed a top regular season goalie.

        True I’m a Pens fan however I admit when players on the team are overpaid or need to go. I was screaming my head off when they resigned Letang to that absurd deal this offseason. And if Fleury has another bad post season then he must go but they need to sign a top goalie to take his place. Vokoun is not that guy.

  6. crazemastercraze - Sep 22, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    He’s like any other human at their job: they get comfortable and complacent and slacks off. He’ll probably need to be moved to get motivated again.

  7. matt14gg - Sep 22, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    He’s like a good NFL kicker who has completely lost his confidence. He has talent, but you can see him feeling his way through every save and over thinking. Look up Jim Carrey for a good comparison. Once the confidence is shot it’s hard to get it back.

  8. jacketsfan7 - Sep 22, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    Just okay? That’s a little kind wouldn’t you agree? He’s been awful

  9. 950003cups - Sep 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Anyone who thinks Fleury is elite is an idiot. He was at one point a good clutch goalie who had tons of offense to make up for what he failed on. Today he nowhere near clutch. He’s not even better than Jose Theodore. If Pens had Jose they’d be an improved team. It’s the fire power that makes the Pens strong. Not Fleury “The Flower” or Paul “Glass Bones” Martin

    • illashell - Sep 22, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      While I disagree with you, I laughed pretty hard at Paul “glass bone” Martin.

  10. blackandorangeforlife - Sep 22, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Take away the wins and MaF is average at best
    Out of active goalies he is 17th in GAA and 20th in SV%….Price ,Bryz and Biron all rate higher….And they are not “Elite” either

    • mcphillthy - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      If Bryz is better than you then you suck. Plain and simple. MAF is a decent goalie. Far from great. And the only resin he wins so many games is bc Crosby and Malkin and the team in front of him score 4-5 goals a game. I understand the bias here from hometown fans but stop lying to yourselves. He just isn’t as good as he used to be and things won’t change until he is traded.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Sep 22, 2013 at 12:54 PM

        I think you meant to leave that as a comment and not a reply! :)

  11. Ald Shot First - Sep 22, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    Fleury has always been amazing 1 on 1 and against breakaways, often making spectacular highlight worthy saves.

    Unfortunately he also struggles and is constantly out of position on shots from the point and with any sort of traffic around him.

    Which one of these happens more frequently in the playoffs? Exactly.

  12. endusersolutions2013 - Sep 22, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    Over the past 5 regular seasons, his save% averages .913. Never was he top 10, and interestingly Vokoun has had a better save % each year. Now with Vokoun “indefinately out” Pens are not looking like the teams the oddsmakers have installed as the favorite.

    • drone501 - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:01 AM

      its a long season. you would have to be a fool to right off the pens.

  13. malkinrulez - Sep 22, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Flower will be fine in the regular season, the playoffs , I’m not so sure

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