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Sharks say Fleury was ‘shaky’ and ‘fighting it’ in 44-save victory

Dec 6, 2013, 12:13 PM EDT

SharksFleury Getty Images

Following last night’s 5-1 defeat in Pittsburgh, the Sharks reflected on the game that was with a rather unique focus — how poorly Marc-Andre Fleury played in stopping 44 of 45 shots faced.

Here be the comments, from CSN Bay Area:

The Sharks managed to throw 45 pucks in Fleury’s direction, but still didn’t have many prime scoring chances. Although he made 44 saves, the Sharks were decidedly unimpressed by the goaltender’s performance.

“Stats aside, I don’t think Fleury was that good tonight,” [Logan] Couture said. “He gave up a lot of rebounds and a lot of shots he looked shaky on. We weren’t able to score on second chances.”

[Joe] Pavelski said: “He was fighting it all night. It felt like we could have had five. Pucks were bouncing and laying between his legs. There were a couple second opportunities, that there were times you didn’t know how it didn’t go in.”

Three things to note:

1) This isn’t the first time the Sharks have done some talking following a loss. During the ’11-12 campaign, Joe Thornton called the Rangers “probably the softest team we played against” following a 5-2 loss at MSG. That prompted then-Rangers coach John Tortorella to utter his now-famous “Joe hasn’t won a g-damn thing in this league” line.

2) The Sharks said this on a night when their own goalie, Antti Niemi, was hooked after allowing four goals on 27 shots.

3) Here’s a sequence of Fleury’s saves on Couture from the third period. You be the judge on how shaky he looked:

Also, Pavelski recorded just one shot on goal.

  1. btlpper68 - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Yea he did but we lost so move on to carolina

  2. illashell - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    I almost can’t even believe this is coming from the losing team, when their own netminder gave up 4 goals in 7 minutes. Asinine.What is it with these guys and talking reckless to the media?

    • skr213 - Dec 6, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      As a Sharks fan, I’m just embarrassed that they be talking this way. I’ve always had a problem with what they say to the media after losing. Last year, I can’t count the times Big Joe made me pull my hair out with lines like “if we keep playing this way, we’ll win games.” NO, IF YOU PLAY LIKE YOU PLAYED DURING A LOSS, YOU’LL LOSE. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. I almost wish there was a rule that Sharks players are no longer allowed to talk to media after a loss. I’d like to offer my apologies to Pens fans – Fleury looked great and we looked weak. Hopefully, we’ll meet again and the Sharks will be better.

      • skr213 - Dec 6, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        *sorry for my typo in the first sentence above! Apparently, my grammar is as good as Logan’s post-game interview skills.

      • c9castine - Dec 7, 2013 at 12:03 AM

        honestly, the first thing i thought when i read this was “no wonder they can’t get deep in the playoffs”.

        if thats the attitude and mindset you have after you got hammered 5-1 in an opponents building and despite the shots thoroughly outplayed and out battled all game long, then you clearly don’t have the tools to be a champion.

        even when we beat up on rivals like philly or the islanders caps they say “they beat us, but were gonna beat them next time”. and these are nasty division rivals, not a team we see once a year.

        the comments totally surprised me.

  3. ibieiniid - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    lol this is from the game recap article last night:

    polegojim – Dec 5, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Perfect timing… way to go ‘self proclaimed best team’.

    Last time I checked… the best team is left standing with a Stanley Cup in June.

    Until you do that… shut up and just play hockey.

    well, that was a moronic thing to say, as you were made aware of so I won’t beat the dead horse. but the Sharks gave you a gift with this one. “shut up and just play hockey” applies this time. go at ’em, Jim.

    • polegojim - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      HA!!!! Moronic or prophetic Ibie??? I should also say…’CONSTANT’ and “RELIABLE’. And don’t care about negative responses.

      That was my point… and my beef on the Sharks. They’re always legends in their own mind… Bylsma just agreed to spark and motivate his team.

      And now this only proves my point… Logan and Joe – thank you thank you thank you.

      I can see it now… the NHL will add another stat column – GTSHB… ‘goals that should have been’…. and Logan and Pavelski will lead the league. ENJOY BOYS.

      The Sharks provide more excuses and moral victories than they do final results.

      For Sharks fans… I’d like to see them do it at least once – Shark fans are ‘hockey sharp’.

      • ibieiniid - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        I meant the “self-proclaimed” part was moronic (because if you had read the article earlier in the day, you’d have seen that it was Bylsma), but yeah, I’m starting to see where you came from when you initially thought they called themselves the best team. they really seem like there’s a chip on their shoulder, and I don’t know yet whether that’s a good or bad thing for them.

      • polegojim - Dec 6, 2013 at 8:04 PM

        Yeah… definitely playing with an edge and attitude is good…. but playing with a chip can make you look like punk… which is what they tend to do.

        Confidence and grit brings respect – put up and shut up performance. The Sharks can’t put their results where there mouth is… so they look ‘punk-foolish’ saying things as Mike reported.

        In the NHL… just like in school… the punks eventually meet the actual bad boys and get put in their place. The Sharks get that every April or May. They may even get more physical during the process… but less hockey smart and get bounced.

  4. hockey412 - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    I love this article – all I know is that between Fleury and the Sharks offense last night, Fleury was the least shaky of the two. I said “nice save” a lot more than I said “nice goal”.

    He’s done very well all year and did stop 44 pucks last night, I’ll give him the credit. I saw about 3 more that he didn’t save with great form, but DID save. Even if they went in, the score would be 5-4.

    • dchambers144 - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      @hockey412, I would actually say the Sharks offense wasn’t bad; they did put up 45 shots. It’s their defense that was questionable. They gave up a lot of odd-man rushes and were generally beaten to pucks all over the ice, particulary in deep. Also, I thought the refs let a lot of interference go on the Sharks, but you’re not going to get those calls up by 4.

      • hockey412 - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        It’s a good point – I would agree to a point. But 11 of them were power play shots, which I’m going to give all the credit in the world to Fleury for.

      • c9castine - Dec 7, 2013 at 12:10 AM

        I’ve seen the pens get a ton of shots and play a bad game. basically it means that you were beat to loose pucks all night. you may have the skill to get it to the net from everywhere, but you were getting beat to rebounds, pushed to the outside, not many quality scoring chances. its not like the pens had 15 shots they got over 30 pucks to the net themselves. its worth noting that over half of the forwards at this point for the Penguins are from the AHL (megna, ebbett, sill, conner, now zolnierzcyk) and joe vitale played a lot of the game on the first line to replace Dupuis. he has -5 goals in his career. so getting outshot 45-30whatever is not at all surprising.

        neither is winning 5-1.

  5. pitpenguinsrulez - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    The Sharks are much like the Capitals in their history. They’re both great in the regular season until come playoff time when they usually choke in the first or second round.

    • ibieiniid - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      you know what they say about living in a glass house…

      • hockey412 - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:51 PM

        I honestly can’t believe he posted that.

      • c9castine - Dec 7, 2013 at 12:11 AM

        i suppose your trying to compare them to the Pens? 3 conference finals in 6 years. 2 finals. 1 cup.

    • pens919209 - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      Replace “Capitals” with “Penguins” and your point is much more valid.

      • 808pensfan - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        Penguins have 4 Stanley Cup appearances and 3 wins, Capitals have one appearance and no wins. What are you talking about?

      • drone501 - Dec 6, 2013 at 3:51 PM

        said but true.

    • cofran2004 - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      Pots and kettles, in most instances, are black. I’m just sayin…

  6. jpelle82 - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    i said it earlier today, the d did a good job of getting a lot of the rebounds out of there. i’m reading these comments wondering if this is just a bitter way of trying to take a shot at fleury or just an akknowledgement of their inability to win puck battles or get second chances. biased as i may be, the fact is that the sharks didnt finish on the few chances they had, so these comments really just point the finger back at them more than at fleury. if they believe they couldve scored more because of the way fleury was playing, then they can only look in the mirror and wonder what the real reason was for why they didnt. just means you sucked last night then little joe…you couldnt even beat a “shaky” goalie who was “fighting it”.

    • ibieiniid - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      well, they conveniently clipped these quotes down to something a bit more controversial. from the linked article, Couture said:

      “Credit to them, they played well tonight, but it was more our mistakes than what they did right, I believe,” Logan Couture said. “We weren’t ourselves. We weren’t moving pucks, we were turning it over through the neutral zone, we weren’t good. I think it was more us than them.”

      • ibieiniid - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:53 PM

        although, that’s kind of controversial too, so idk. read that linked article and judge for yourself. I think it’s clear that the Sharks think they’re better than the Penguins, but I don’t know if they’re necessarily try to sh**-talk, if you will.

      • ibieiniid - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        I lol at the guaranteed flyers-fan-on-penguins-article thumbs downs I get. Oscar the Grouches, despite whether I’m down-talking your team or not. who knew Sesame Street was in Pittsburgh?

      • jpelle82 - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:48 PM

        it figures right?

      • ibieiniid - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        not sure whether you’re referring to PHT clipping the quotes, or the “flyers-fan-on-penguins-article thumbs downs,” but yeah, both of those make sense lol.

      • drone501 - Dec 6, 2013 at 3:52 PM

        no, it was them.

  7. kosarkid - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    So you’re saying you’re not good enough to beat an unimpressive goalie. Good luck playing against the goalies that you think are good.

  8. csilojohnson - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    No Sesame Street. But Mr. Rogers Nieghborhood is in Pitt.

  9. kastout11 - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Sounds like sour grapes to me. Maybe, he was shaky and they should/could have scored more goals, but they didn’t. This is nothing new with Fluery, but the bottom line is, he stopped 44 shots and Nieme was pulled after 2 periods. Usually, you say somehing like this when you win the game or slip a few past the goalie, not when you fail.

  10. steelers88 - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    The only reason why the Penguins were even in the game last night is because Fleury played great. It does sound like sour grapes.

    • johninpa - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      44 saves on 45 shots. Fleury can be that shaky every game if he wants.

  11. hosewater2 - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Sharks are trying real hard to take the “Most Hated” title from Vancouver.

    • ibieiniid - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      they do seem quite full of themselves, don’t they?

      • hosewater2 - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:05 PM

        Not as much as their fans (come on down thumbs!)

  12. steelers88 - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    I find it hilarious how you can rip your own team. Are you even a Penguins fan? You do know the Penguins have won 3 cups to the Capitals 0.

  13. hazlydose - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Fleury did look shaky at times last night. Sometimes battling rebounds he seemed to awkwardly make the save and a couple of times he even fell down awkwardly after making the save. That being said, he got the job done and it was nice to see our defense support our goaltender by bailing him out when he was down on the ice a few times.
    I know this was probably taken out of context and the Sharks players are probably just answering questions honestly, but are these comments really necessary? You play each other twice a year, its not like this is some heated rivalry. Move on.

    • dirt2013 - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:13 PM

      So while Fleury only gave up one goal he was down graded on “style” points?

  14. comeonnowguys - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    If this were the Blackhawks saying this, sjs’s head would asplode.

  15. sjsharks66 - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    I have notice PHT trying to turn things around since the Sharks loss last night. Starting with the article last night, with throwing in the whole “best team in the league” quote in the title. It came off a bit condescending to the team and fans. Now they take the statements that in a whole, are not bad, but when they cut them up they make them bad.

    Look, i am disappointed with how Couture and Pavelski threw that in their post game statements. However, if that is how they felt, then they should be able to say it without much criticizing. I don’t think it was the right thing to say but everyone has an opinion of how things went. I had to miss half the game due to work and from what I saw, I was not impressed with the Sharks. From what I hear the first period was pretty back an forth with good chances from each team. Niemi had a bad game, not Flower.

    • hosewater2 - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:13 PM

      Do you think that Couture and Pavelski learned that sort of behaviour from Captain and Big Winner Joe Thornton?

  16. michaelj17 - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Sharks fan here, say what they want…they didn’t play that bad last night, didn’t score and lost, simple as that. Cant give up those kinds of opportunities to that kind of team (Penguins) and expect to be able to come out with anything less than what happened last night, yes it could’ve been closer had the Sharks capitalized on their opportunities but at the end of the night we still lost 5-1. See ya in Carolina.

  17. northstarnic - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    The one goal credited to the Snarks would not even have gone in if not for the Pens d-man tipping it in. Clowns got absolutely owned by Pittsburgh, who were missing one of the leagues top players.

    • faulkingallstar - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:29 PM

      lol absolutely owned is not being outshot 45-30, and at the end of the day we still have more points then you.

  18. pens5829 - Dec 6, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    24 years old and dumb as a rock…

    • jimeejohnson - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:43 AM

      Just like pea brain gw bush-League at that age, and now.

  19. pens5829 - Dec 6, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Coutre’s stats on the night:

    Goals: 0
    Assists: 0
    +/- : -2
    SOG: 5

    Yeah… Sounds like Fleury had a tough night???

  20. titansrbeast - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    I get it might sound a bit bad how Couture and Jumbo stated this, but I mean come on. The Sharks really did beat themselves in that 2nd period, shots were what, 25-10 in favor of SJ and Pittsburgh netted 4 of those 10. Most of the goals came off of sloppy defensive play/turnovers and the storm of goals kinda just put us away. BUT, I do feel like there was at times, some kind of barrier around the Penguins net lmao. There were times where the puck would bounce and roll around like crazy in the crease and it would somehow end up frozen. I think Fleury played a hell of a damn good game, but I truly believe the Sharks deserved more last night. Even Pittsburgh’s coach credited them as being the best team in the league (obviously that’s just an opinion, but it still credits the fact that the Sharks work hard and COULD have been in a much closer game), and I think they possibly are.

    Either way, game is in the past. These two will meet in the tank in March and it will be a completely different game. On to Carolina tonight, GO SHARKS!

  21. faulkingallstar - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Not sure what the big deal is. A goalie can look a shaky and still have a good game. All the sharks were saying is that they Fleury gave them some oppurtunities that they couldn’t capitalize on which for the most part is true, he did get lucky on numerous scrambles in front of the net. People talk about how hockey players are sooo boring in their interviews all the time and as soon as a player tells the media whats really on their mind they get crucified for it

  22. jhaegs - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    More points THAN you… Jesus, it’s not that hard, people.

  23. ironman721 - Dec 6, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    As a Pens fan, everybody knows MAF waits till the playoffs to get “shaky”.

  24. wicky888 - Dec 6, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    What do you call 30 millionaires watching the Stanley Cup Finals?

    The San Jose Sharks

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