Fleury is the key to success | April 21, 2012
In a Penguins Franchise beaming with talent – the likes of Malkin, Crosby & Neal a man that often gets overlooked is goaltender Marc-André Fleury. That was until this series against the Philadelphia Flyers anyway.
It’s not been plain sailing for the French-Canadian stopper in this series, he has divided opinion between fans of both the Penguins and neutrals alike. Some are increasingly suggesting he should be taken out, others are sticking with their guns and repeating that he’s one of the best goaltenders in the league and to just look back at this years regular season, let alone what he’s done for the franchise in previous years.
Both sides are finding it hard to stick 100% to their opinion’s though, critics are having to praise him at times and the people who support him are holding up their hands when he makes consistent errors.
As of writing, the series is currently 3-2 in the Flyers favour, after a 3-2 win for the Penguins in Pittsburgh last night (Friday 21st April) meant we would get a 6th game in this what’s increasingly looking like a historic play-off series, full of action.
Last night really summed up Fleury’s series, in the 1st period he looked edgy and seemed to have his angles all wrong, the puck hitting the post on 2 occasions and Fleury getting beat by a shot that in large part seemed to be down to bad positioning, as oppose to any interference as he was suggesting. At this point it looked like it would be a long night for both the Penguins & for Fleury.
However, the Penguins crowd got behind Fleury, chanting his name incessantly throughout and it payed off big time for them. Fleury became a man on a mission and looked unbeatable, the peak of his display was in the 3rd period, when a strong powerplay from the Flyers, with great opportunity shots from the likes of Briere & Voracek, none could manage to beat him.
All of a sudden there was faith restored in Fleury, who to be fair did have a better night in the 4th game, again a nervy start where at least 2 of the 3 Flyers early goals were in large part faults on the side of Fleury. Though, from that point onwards he shut them out for the rest of the night and he did exactly the same last night when it was needed most and became the physical but fair play-off battle many were suggesting before the craziness of the first few games.
No one can realistically doubt Fleury’s talent, he is one of the best goaltenders out there but he has looked edgy, very edgy particularly in the first 3 games of the series. It’s no coincidence that since the resurgence of form of Fleury the Penguins have looked good and all of a sudden people are starting to talk about a 7 game comeback win being the catalyst for another Stanley Cup, only time will tell.
One thing is for sure, Fleury will have to continue to play at the peak of his talents for the Penguins to have any realistic chance, not only for a Stanley Cup but to get through this series.