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Marc-Andre Fleury: Why the Penguins Should Bench Him

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02-06-2013, 12:12 PM
  #1
cassius
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Marc-Andre Fleury: Why the Penguins Should Bench Him

Saw this article and thought I would pass it along.

http://thehockeywriters.com/marc-and...uld-bench-him/

Quote:
Marc-Andre Fleury is a scapegoat for a reason. He is not an elite goaltender. He never has been and he never will be. He collapsed down the stretch last year, failed spectacularly in the playoffs, and his save percentage this year is an abysmal 0.897 – but that’s not why I’m writing this article.

I’m writing this because Marc-Andre Fleury has been a disappointment throughout his entire career. His recent performance is not an aberration, and now that the Pittsburgh Penguins have Tomas Vokoun, a more-than-capable replacement, it’s time to make a switch.
Obviously, it's a very opinionated piece and I really don't agree that Fleury should be benched at all. Having said that, the author does raise a lot of good points and it was an interesting read.


Last edited by cassius: 02-06-2013 at 12:21 PM.
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02-06-2013, 12:22 PM
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Don'tcry4mejanhrdina
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Or, they could continue doing what they have been doing, and split the starts between them/go with the hot goalie. But maybe it makes more sense having a goalie make $5 million to sit on the bench, even if he's been playing well recently.

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02-06-2013, 12:26 PM
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TheSniper26
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This argument is endless and pointless. One side saying "look at his numbers" the other side saying "numbers don't matter". And round and round it goes until it devolves into name calling.

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02-06-2013, 12:26 PM
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Crafton
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who is this Billy Nauman? never heard of him.

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02-06-2013, 12:28 PM
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Dying Alive
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I think even Fleury's most ardent fans will admit that he has his shortcomings but I think he's a net positive player and I don't see what sitting him would possibly accomplish.

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02-06-2013, 12:29 PM
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Corsi Close
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Hyperbole of the article notwithstanding, I agree with the premise.

Vokoun has never played on a good team. I get the feeling you could ride him to a Cup. With Fleury I get the feeling he may make 3 spectacular saves every playoff game but let in 2 softies.

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02-06-2013, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don'tcry4mejanhrdina View Post
Or, they could continue doing what they have been doing, and split the starts between them/go with the hot goalie. But maybe it makes more sense having a goalie make $5 million to sit on the bench, even if he's been playing well recently.
I agree. Vokoun's numbers are better so far but we are still winning games with Fleury and he was played well. Let's roll with both and see where we are heading into the playoffs.

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02-06-2013, 12:32 PM
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Meh. Sounds like a Mark Madden piss in the water and see how many fish I can stir up sort of story just to generate controversy.

The Pens brought Vokoun in for a reason. Johnson sucked last year, and as well Fleury was subpar at times. I will not discount the concern but it is very minor. I am sure that the organization still has a lot of faith in Fleury and to be honest it is well founded. He is not a top five goalie but he is certainly top ten in my book and can win a cup for the Pens. Indeed he already has including two cup finals in a row. You do not suck and do that.

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02-06-2013, 12:32 PM
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froods
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There are too many juicy chances in HCDB system for any goalie to end up with great stats. The only time you saw it was when Crosby and Malkin went down and we went in a defensive posture. Guess what happened? Flower had great numbers.

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02-06-2013, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dying Alive View Post
I think even Fleury's most ardent fans will admit that he has his shortcomings but I think he's a net positive player and I don't see what sitting him would possibly accomplish.
It satisfies the hate that some people have for him.

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02-06-2013, 12:32 PM
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Til the End of Time
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this season will be key.

fleury backers always say the numbers dont matter because the penguins give up higher quality chances than other teams.

that could be true.

if vokoun puts up significantly better numbers than fleury in a similar amount of games, then that argument goes out the window, and fleury will be exposed for a mediocre goalie.

however the sample size thus far is too small. lets wait another dozen or so games before even thinking of benching anyone.

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02-06-2013, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froods View Post
There are too many juicy chances in HCDB system for any goalie to end up with great stats. The only time you saw it was when Crosby and Malkin went down and we went in a defensive posture. Guess what happened? Flower had great numbers.
Time will tell. Vokoun has some pretty solid numbers so far.

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02-06-2013, 12:38 PM
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Dying Alive
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Originally Posted by Jaded-Fan View Post
Meh. Sounds like a Mark Madden piss in the water and see how many fish I can stir up sort of story just to generate controversy.

The Pens brought Vokoun in for a reason. Johnson sucked last year, and as well Fleury was subpar at times. I will not discount the concern but it is very minor. I am sure that the organization still has a lot of faith in Fleury and to be honest it is well founded. He is not a top five goalie but he is certainly top ten in my book and can win a cup for the Pens. Indeed he already has including two cup finals in a row. You do not suck and do that.
Thanks for the nightmares.

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02-06-2013, 12:42 PM
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Of the two goalies, Fleury has played the more impressive games, even though he's also had the poorest game (first Islanders game). Vokoun's current stats are inflated due to his one shutout in such a small sample size. His 4 starts: 1.000 save %, 0.912 save %, 0.903 save %, 0,875 save %.

He's played well and can competently step in when needed and provide for some competition. But Fleury is the Penguins #1 and he hasn't done anything to lose that title this season.

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02-06-2013, 12:43 PM
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2 more seasons after this @ 5M. If they chose to resign him, the cap hit shouldnt be anywhere near it is now

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02-06-2013, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Hottubber View Post
2 more seasons after this @ 5M. If they chose to resign him, the cap hit shouldnt be anywhere near it is now
two more years, just about the time it'll take for Quebec to get a franchise

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02-06-2013, 12:52 PM
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TheSniper26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Til the End of Time View Post
this season will be key.

fleury backers always say the numbers dont matter because the penguins give up higher quality chances than other teams.

that could be true.

if vokoun puts up significantly better numbers than fleury in a similar amount of games, then that argument goes out the window, and fleury will be exposed for a mediocre goalie.

however the sample size thus far is too small. lets wait another dozen or so games before even thinking of benching anyone.
I posted this in a previous thread but I think it fits here. Chopping off Fleury's first couple of rough seasons(to be fair), if you go back just to 06-07, the numbers look like this:

Fleury: .911 Save%
Backups: .907 Save%

This is a sample size of hundreds of games. Thoroughly mediocre and not much of a gap for a guy that's making several million more than his backups. The win percentage is about the same for Fleury and the backups too. So the "WINS!" argument kind of goes out the window because it's clear that a team with Crosby/Malkin on it is going to get it's share of wins regardless of the goaltender.

None of these numbers will make a dent in the "elite" perception.

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02-06-2013, 12:53 PM
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Way I look at it is there is no way we win that cup in 09 without MAF. Not a chance we win games 6 and 7 without him being at his best. However, you can also argue he's a huge reason we haven't won more than one cup in this era. Which is why the vokoun signing was a great one. We don't have to go into the playoffs relying on MAF . If he struggles, he sits out. That wasn't a possibility before. The FO fixed that problem...I'm not worried about goaltending right now. Nor will I be come playoff time. The only thing I'm interested in seeing is how we play defensively come playoff time

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02-06-2013, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froods View Post
There are too many juicy chances in HCDB system for any goalie to end up with great stats. The only time you saw it was when Crosby and Malkin went down and we went in a defensive posture. Guess what happened? Flower had great numbers.
Let me state that I don't agree with the article. I think the current setup is working, and I'm fine with how the coaching staff is handling the goalie starts.

Having said that, your first sentence that I bolded above is based on assumption, not fact. The problem with your theory is the only goalie we have to test the accuracy of that theory with ... is Fleury, the guy in question. We don't know whether our system is stat-unfriendly to all goalies because Fleury's the only goalie who the evidence is based on (unless you want to count all our career backups, but again, those guys aren't exactly going to be great elsewhere either).

It's early, but look at Vokoun's numbers. They're right around his career average, despite him playing behind a system that's apparently not goalie-friendly. If Vokoun can end the season around his current numbers, doesn't that suggest that perhaps our system isn't so stat-unfriendly to goalies after all?

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02-06-2013, 01:01 PM
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My bro and I talked about this last week. I don't agree on benching him but I would split the duties 50/50 at this point and then ride the hot hand in the playoffs.

The reason the topic came up was for next year. My bro felt paying $5 million a year to Fleury when you have a guy that can do just as well for $2 million makes no sense when the cap goes down next season. That $5 million could be used with Kennedy's $2 million to go after a winger for Crosby during UFA time. He talked me into it for that reason. He felt that the Wings went cheap on goalies for years and had Cup success.

I did not mind the Fleury contract when he first signed the deal. Fleury looked great during those two Cup years and I believed he would become one of the top 3 goalies in the NHL for years after he matured. Unfortunately Fleury has not made the jump to elite goaltender and when you can find goaltenders that can do the same for much less it just is not cap friendly to keep him with cheaper options. It is something to think about although I don't see the Pens doing it.

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02-06-2013, 01:09 PM
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Til the End of Time
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i also dont think there are a ton of "fleury haters" out there.

the majority of folks that are skeptical of fleury really want the guy to succeed. we've basically watched the guy grow up. we remember that amazing toe save he made on frolov in his first nhl game. everyone was happy for him when he went down in history making the save on lidstrom (which btw is one of the greatest plays to end a SC final ever). im rooting for the guy... but damn, the flyers series have soured me on him. that was on of the all-time worst goalie performances ever.

hard to erase that memory.

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02-06-2013, 01:10 PM
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cassius
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Part of me thinks that a team like the Redwings have developed a really good approach to goaltending.

Howard is only making $2.250 and they signed Gustavsson for $1.5M.

So they are dedicating only $3.750M to their goaltending, which means they can spend more dollars on wingers/defenseman. Before Howard, they signed vererans like Chris Osgood who managed to put up decent numbers.

They are definitely approaching their goaltending position with a value-oriented strategy. e.g. try to get halfway decent goaltending without signing high-priced goalies ala Bryzgalov

I wouldn't mind if we cut Fleury loose in a couple years and started taking a similar strategy. Don't get me wrong he is a good goalie, but I question whether his play is worth justifying such a large cap hit. $5M is a big number for a cap-strapped team.


Last edited by cassius: 02-06-2013 at 01:17 PM.
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02-06-2013, 01:17 PM
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Bennett Brauer
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This garbage looks like it was written by one of the geniuses on the main board.

Yeah, let's bench Fleury, hey while we're at it, let's trade Vokoun and make Zatkoff or Thiessen our starter, NO, better yet, let's make Patrick Killeen the starter and sign Marc Cheverie to be the back up! Perfect plan!

Seriously, every plan I mentioned above is equally as stupid as benching Fleury.

EDIT: And damn, if we're still going to blame the Flyers series on Fleury and Fleury alone, and talk about benching, cutting him, trading him, etc. Then why don't we just trade our whole defense, they weren't any help in that series either.

And to quote the article, "he's been a disappointment his whole career" .....yeah you're right dude, he didn't come in as an 18 year old and impress in his debut game, he didn't help the Penguins to 2 consecutive Cup finals in a row and win a Cup, he didn't have 42 wins last regular season, nahh, just one big disappointment year after year.

I don't complain much, but I can't stand when people don't give Fleury enough credit, stats really aren't everything.


Last edited by Bennett Brauer: 02-06-2013 at 01:29 PM.
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02-06-2013, 01:26 PM
  #24
Ugene Malkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC24 View Post
Hyperbole of the article notwithstanding, I agree with the premise.

Vokoun has never played on a good team. I get the feeling you could ride him to a Cup. With Fleury I get the feeling he may make 3 spectacular saves every playoff game but let in 2 softies.
Also, He has mostly played on a defensive team, and even the Caps last year were going about it defensively.

I also believe the players put trust into him(Fleury) thinking he would bail them out, but they have given up golden opportunities way too much over the years.


Also, check this out.
http://penguins.nhl.com/club/player....3&view=gamelog

Other than the shutout he has not been doing any better than, Fleury. Less games, but more consistent to giving up 3 goals than having a shutout.

Smoke and mirrors folks.

MAF's.

http://penguins.nhl.com/club/player....3&view=gamelog


Last edited by Ugene Malkin: 02-06-2013 at 01:41 PM.
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02-06-2013, 01:35 PM
  #25
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[QUOTE=Sidney the Kidney;59166367]Let me state that I don't agree with the article. I think the current setup is working, and I'm fine with how the coaching staff is handling the goalie starts.

Having said that, your first sentence that I bolded above is based on assumption, not fact. The problem with your theory is the only goalie we have to test the accuracy of that theory with ... is Fleury, the guy in question. We don't know whether our system is stat-unfriendly to all goalies because Fleury's the only goalie who the evidence is based on (unless you want to count all our career backups, but again, those guys aren't exactly going to be great elsewhere either).

It's early, but look at Vokoun's numbers. They're right around his career average, despite him playing behind a system that's apparently not goalie-friendly. If Vokoun can end the season around his current numbers, doesn't that suggest that perhaps our system isn't so stat-unfriendly to goalies after all?[/QUOTE]

Thats a very good point. If it Vokouns #s stand until the end of the season I think it will tell us a lot and be a good way to judge MAF by comparison. I always felt MAF faced way too many difficult saves to really blame him too much. Guess we will see.

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