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12-03-2012, 04:13 AM
  #42
Big McLargehuge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illinest View Post
I'm even going to say that I'd take Lalime, Wregget and Hedberg over him. I don't remember too much about their respective games anymore but I know that I had more confidence with them in the net than I do with Fleury. Fleury seriously needs to go. He's paid too much for this and I lay a lot of the blame on him for the last three years of playoff failures.
Well...I'd say bunk on all three. If the issue is confidence then only Wregget played a consistent game, and his game was consistently average. Lalime played too brief a time in Pittsburgh to really count, but once the book was opened on him he went from unbeatable to very beatable. He was a league average starter on a good team for a while, but when the going got tough he never really stepped up, so even factoring in his non-Penguins time I can't take him seriously. It's no surprise his career went in the toilet after the lockout (though 4 wins in 31 games was a bit severe).

Hedberg...love the man. He may be the most neurotic goalie I've ever seen. That has worked to his advantage many times...when he gets in a zone he is just unbeatable, but when you get in the head of a neurotic goalie then he's swiss cheese. Hedberg had some very unfavorable situations as a starter in his career after that 2002 run, which was pure magic, namely in that the 2001-02 Penguins bore little resemblance to the one that he dragged to the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals, the 2002-03 squad was even worse, and then he got a reprieve by being traded to a solid Vancouver squad...where Marc Crawford refused to start him over the known-awful Cloutier.

There's a line that's too easy to pass here...the line between Fleury being an awful goalie along for the ride and Fleury being a good goalie who has faltered at times. Fleury is far from a great goalie...but we do lose scope too often. Stats don't tell a flattering story, but no goalie is likely to have great stats in the same time frame. Even when the defense has been good in his time here (which has been rare), it has been the type of system that leads to many odd-man rushes. There isn't a good stat that tracks the stuff, but Fleury has had to face an above average shot difficulty percentage in his career just because of the personal and system the Penguins have run out there in his career. Regardless, he was golden in 2007-08 and played two of the best games of his career in Game 6 & 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals...he gets much respect from me for that. He just hasn't been able to do so with any sort of consistency. I have no doubt he's going to set every goaltending record for the team, but he hasn't been the goalie that he was in the 2009 Finals for a while. I still want to believe in him, but he has a lot to prove. Until he does so Barrasso's track record speaks for itself.

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