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09-25-2003, 11:03 AM
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How can you expect a 19 year old kid with no NHL experience not to get shelled with the pens next season when even the best goalie in the league right now would be hard pressed to look good with the Pens this season (speculation but still a more than fair assumption).
I do expect it quite frankly. But that's what I keep saying, if he gets shelled in his first couple games, you send him down. Is it really that hard to understand?

The rangers and islanders coaching staff probably said that too when they decided to put their 18 year old rookie goaltenders in the net. Eh where's the harm ? His confidence shouldn't be hurt. After all he'll be playing against the best players in the world. And those two teens had much better teams in front of them.
There WAS harm in those situations because they didn't send the goalies back when they clearly showed they weren't ready. Do you get it? I feel like I'm conversing with a brick wall here. If Fleury faulters, which you and I both seem to think is very likely, we simply send him to Cape Breton with a pat on the back and tell him we'll see him in a year.

Another question : is some "experience" and the knowledge that the NHL isn't as easy as it looks worth the risk of seeing history repeating itself ? Those 4-5 goals in one game is far from the worst case scenario. What about 4-5 goals in 1 period and a half and the kid being pulled out of the 2-3 games he played ? He's 19 years old and he's had a lot of hype and media exposure. There's a lot of pressure on this kid as 1st draft pick overall. Why add even more by giving him the keys to the town after a few pre-season games ?
Are you referring to Blackburn and DiPietro? They werent ruined by playing 2-3 games when they weren't ready, they were ruined by playing 20-30 games when they weren't ready, and the rest of the season on the bench. There is a HUGE difference in the scenarios I've proposed and the ones you're referring to, huge.

So you say he has earned his spots after 2-3 good AHL caliber pre-season games ? Send him back to the Q, let him do some damage, let him come back for one more training camp, one year older, more confident and experienced. If he dominates those pre-season games again then he'll have earned it.

My opinion is that it is asking too much of a teenager to play as a starter in the NHL while his development would go just as fast in the Q.
But why? He's played great thus far, in camp, in practice, and in preseason games. What if he can win us some games? Like I said, with a brief tryout, there is absolutely no harm in seeing just how ready he really is. He could do pretty well, it's unlikely, but he has shown NOTHING thus far to say he won't do well. You're just comparing him to other goaltenders to get the point across. Fleury is not Dipietro. I'm not saying he's better, or worse, he's just different.

Talking about not answering questions ...

You chose to ignore some questions and parts of my post too.
Did I answer them all now? I feel like I'm simply repeating myself.

"Shelled" refers to the amount of shots that he will face over the course of the season. So yes, to date he has been in two whole games and of course you can tell what the entire season will be like based on what happens in the preseason.
But we WON'T let his 2-3 games thus far dictate the entire season. That's the whole point.

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