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Fleury’s ups and downs make the New York Times

May 8, 2014, 5:46 PM EST

Martin St. Louis, Marc-Andre Fleury AP

Remember a couple of weeks ago when everyone was busy wondering about Marc-Andre Fleury’s mental state?

OK, fine, maybe not everyone was busy wondering about it. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma insists his players have never lost faith in their goalie, and we’re not about to call him a liar.

But there’s a reason the New York Times felt Fleury was a compelling enough figure to write about, complete with a headline that started, “Once Shaky in Postseason…”

From Greg Norman to Peyton Manning, whenever an athlete develops a reputation, deserved or not, for folding under the pressure, that athlete becomes more interesting to watch in pressure situations. Especially since, once an athlete’s been labeled a “choker,” it’s really, really hard to shake that label.

Oh, and the fact the Penguins enlisted a sports psychologist to help Fleury (said Bylsma: “I think the mental toughness, the mental approach, the mental side of the game is something that needs to be a focus”) didn’t do anything to deter the narrative.

But it’s clearly a narrative that Fleury is sick of talking about.

From the Times:

Fleury bristled when asked if the professional help he received after his repeated playoff failures had fixed a flaw in his approach.

“I answered that already, I’m not talking about it again,” he said as his equipment was packed for the trip back to Pittsburgh. “You can look it up.”

Fleury has been excellent against the Rangers, posting two shutouts and a .949 save percentage. But there’s still a long way to go before the Penguins reach their ultimate goal, with pressure situations aplenty along the way.

Game 5 of the series goes Friday in Pittsburgh.

  1. c9castine - May 8, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    youd have to be from the new york times to get a response from fluery like that.

    been reading and watching interviews from him for 11 years never heard him irritated by that.

    stupid story anyway.

  2. 7mantel - May 8, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    He’s lucky it wasn’t the NY POST.

  3. bobc74 - May 8, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    You’d think at this point in the series, the NY Times would be more interested in what the Rangers can do to win three in a row and take the series. Rather than ask questions of the opposing team’s goaltender which he has already answered both in previous interviews and his play during this postseason.

    • 7mantel - May 8, 2014 at 6:42 PM

      I think the next question was ” If you changed the color of your hair what kind of car would you drive ? “

  4. steelcity333 - May 8, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    Maybe they should write and article about why Lundqvist hasn’t been able to carry over his play from the regular season. Fleury has a Cup, Lundqvist has only been past the second round once.

    • theageofquarrel - May 8, 2014 at 7:21 PM

      That’s why Henrik should be called King Nothing

    • billiam55 - May 8, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      very ignorant post……hockey isnt a one man sport. its not tennis or golf. its a TEAM sport. the team that lost to the penguins last night? THATS WHY hank doesnt have a cup yet.

      • whammy71 - May 8, 2014 at 10:25 PM

        Cry much? Me thinks yes!

    • stakex - May 8, 2014 at 11:18 PM

      That really is an ignorant statement as billiam says.

      For starters, Lundqvist HAS consistently carried over his play from the regular season. He has a career regular season GAA of 2.26 and a S% of .920. In the playoffs? 2.28 and .920. Almost exactly the same… so its pure stupidity to argue that his play doesn’t carry over. In fact, its Fleury that has worse playoff numbers than he does regular season numbers…. 2.66/.910 regular season versus 2.73/.903 playoffs, which are fairly bad numbers for an NHL starter btw.

      Now, you are pointing to the Cup the Penguins won with Fleury in net as some sort of confirmation that he’s an elite goaltender. However, the year the Pens won the Cup Fleury had a 2.61 GAA and .908S%………. most teams wouldn’t have made it out of the first round if their goaltender had numbers like that, let alone won the cup. As such they won it despite his so-so play, and not because of it.

      Which brings us to the obvious: Goalies don’t win Cups, teams do. Fleury has kept his job with the Pens because he’s not awful, and the Pens have enough firepower to outscore his plentiful shortcomings. On the flip side the Rangers have had significant struggles to provide Lundqvist with any sort of offensive support in the playoffs over the last few seasons. His numbers have been better than Fleury’s, but the Rangers have won a much because of the lack of offense. To put that on him, and him alone, is just pathetic.

      • c9castine - May 8, 2014 at 11:48 PM

        stakex, gonna have to call you out here again.

        if you wanna declare somebody else is ignorant be careful what statements you make.

        two saves stick out. the glove hand save on alex ovechkin’s breakaway in game 7 of the second round, early in the game. and his sliding chest stop on nicklas lidstrom with 1 second left in game 7, finals.

        in between he was nothing short of solid, making huge saves all along the way at the right times. that save against AO ignited the penguins and they went on to trounce the Caps and take round 2.

        pretty funny though that you think you can go on NHL.com or wherever and look up his stats and act like you know exactly how things went down, and why the penguins did and didnt win that cup.

        ignorance.

      • c9castine - May 8, 2014 at 11:53 PM

        not to mention, you state teams win cups, and then separate Fleury from the team as some sort of a tagalong. pretty stupid you think he has stayed around because hes “not awful” for a team and GM who have a reputation of going after the best, and expecting the most.

        not making much sense buddy.

      • beyor35 - May 9, 2014 at 2:12 AM

        Not a fan of either team but if I had to start a team with either Henrik or the flower it is no contest… I wouldn’t even want the flower on my minor team…

      • pleasefiredan - May 9, 2014 at 8:59 AM

        Rangers system when they had torts was completely defensive and a block shot first.(Same thing with the devils and the trap). Pens system is north south get the puck up. Put any goalie on those two teams and they are going to have good numbers. Look at this last game 4. “King” Henry lets in two spin-o-ramas! Thankfully he is elite and didn’t let any soft goals in with what I think we had 15 shots…AGAIN!!!

    • c9castine - May 8, 2014 at 11:44 PM

      i dunno i personally think lundqvist has played as good as fleury just facing a much much tougher offense and team.

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