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Marc-Andre Fleury: Why the Penguins Should Bench Him

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Old
02-08-2013, 11:20 PM
  #151
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Couple of my buddies took all the goalies and tried to come up with a tier ranking that would be fair. Fleury sits at the top of the second tier. The only elite goalies we had were: Hank, Quick, Thomas (if not retired), Marty, and my buddy tried to get Rinne in there.

We all felt comfortable saying he's as good or belongs in the same tiered group as Price, Luongo, Kipper, Niemi, etc.

So if you really want to discuss elite/top goalies, you will be shocked with who actually is out there. I don't think a lot of them are better than Fleury. Everyone knows Lu's saga. Niemi has had some duds, but also played amazing to get a Cup. Price and Kipper are stud goalies to me, but are they really on a whole different level than Fleury?

When you take the time and look who else is out there, I don't think this is an era where we see a ton of amazing Roy like goalies.

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02-09-2013, 03:20 AM
  #152
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Originally Posted by JTG View Post
Things that do bother me immensely with Fleury are the following:

1. He can lose focus at times, which could be the reason why shutout elude him. He sometimes plays like he has ADD, and he needs to be involved to be effective. The 1st shot goals have also tended to be a problem, and again, it's because some times his focus isn't there.
On some level I can buy the focus argument with Fleury to explain why he rarely ever gets shutouts (and I agree it's an overrated stat anyways), but I don't know if it applies to him being so leaky on the first shot. I would think his focus level would be very high at the start of games.

The other problem with the argument that his struggles are focus related is that he's played quite a bit better in the regular season than the playoffs, where again we would assume his focus level to be higher on average. That suggests he just might not be able to handle the pressure. Any way you slice it, these are the issues that prevent him from entering any 'elite' goalie discussion.

Regarding goalie rankings, I agree that Fleury is sort of jumbled in with a handful of guys where you can at least state a convincing case in their favor. Those who I think have seperated themselves are guys like Lundvist, Rinne, Quick, Thomas, Miller, Luongo, Brodeur, Rask, Backstrom, and yes .. Vokoun. Then there's the mix that Fleury is in which are guys like Ward, Price, Niemi, Hiller, Anderson, Kiprusoff, Bryzgalov, Schneider, Backstrom etc. I'd give the edge to a few goalies in that second list which means Fleury is around 15th or so. In other words, an average starter. Seems reasonable to me.

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02-09-2013, 08:48 AM
  #153
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Originally Posted by Malkin4Top6Wingerz View Post
On some level I can buy the focus argument with Fleury to explain why he rarely ever gets shutouts (and I agree it's an overrated stat anyways), but I don't know if it applies to him being so leaky on the first shot. I would think his focus level would be very high at the start of games.

The other problem with the argument that his struggles are focus related is that he's played quite a bit better in the regular season than the playoffs, where again we would assume his focus level to be higher on average. That suggests he just might not be able to handle the pressure. Any way you slice it, these are the issues that prevent him from entering any 'elite' goalie discussion.

Regarding goalie rankings, I agree that Fleury is sort of jumbled in with a handful of guys where you can at least state a convincing case in their favor. Those who I think have seperated themselves are guys like Lundvist, Rinne, Quick, Thomas, Miller, Luongo, Brodeur, Rask, Backstrom, and yes .. Vokoun. Then there's the mix that Fleury is in which are guys like Ward, Price, Niemi, Hiller, Anderson, Kiprusoff, Bryzgalov, Schneider, Backstrom etc. I'd give the edge to a few goalies in that second list which means Fleury is around 15th or so. In other words, an average starter. Seems reasonable to me.
Rask, Seriously??? Wow is that bad. Just one more quick thought Luongo vs Fleury, I bet you get a lot of Vancouver fans that vote MAF. biggest reason, games 6 and 7. Lu choked and Flower went god mode. And don't say 2 games don't count, because when they are the 2 biggest games of your life, they most certainly do!

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02-09-2013, 09:40 AM
  #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkin4Top6Wingerz View Post
On some level I can buy the focus argument with Fleury to explain why he rarely ever gets shutouts (and I agree it's an overrated stat anyways), but I don't know if it applies to him being so leaky on the first shot. I would think his focus level would be very high at the start of games.

The other problem with the argument that his struggles are focus related is that he's played quite a bit better in the regular season than the playoffs, where again we would assume his focus level to be higher on average. That suggests he just might not be able to handle the pressure. Any way you slice it, these are the issues that prevent him from entering any 'elite' goalie discussion.

Regarding goalie rankings, I agree that Fleury is sort of jumbled in with a handful of guys where you can at least state a convincing case in their favor. Those who I think have seperated themselves are guys like Lundvist, Rinne, Quick, Thomas, Miller, Luongo, Brodeur, Rask, Backstrom, and yes .. Vokoun. Then there's the mix that Fleury is in which are guys like Ward, Price, Niemi, Hiller, Anderson, Kiprusoff, Bryzgalov, Schneider, Backstrom etc. I'd give the edge to a few goalies in that second list which means Fleury is around 15th or so. In other words, an average starter. Seems reasonable to me.
A lot of goalie need the puck to hit them to get into the groove of the game. Maybe it's a pregame preparation thing? I have no idea. I just know when he sees more shots, he plays better hockey. He'll never be a Marty who can not see a shot for mins at a time (at least back in the Devils hay day), and stop every single one of them.

If I were ranking goaltenders, I'd put Quick, Lundqvist, Rinne, and Brodeur in one class, and then have a mess of 7-10 goalies right below them. That's where I'd put Fleury.

The thing with Fleury when you look at his stats is that he has some horrible games, and those games drag his stats down. If you look at his stats this season, he's had 2 bad statistical games, and 5 great statistical games. If you look the stats for what they are, he's average. If you look deeper into the stats, he's above average, but inconsistent. A bad game for Fleury isn't 3 or 4 goals an a .890 SV%. It's 6 goals and a .750 SV%.

I think when people start ranking goaltenders here, they look solely at stats, and not at the game these guys have been playing. Ryan Miller won a Vezina, and I think he's been very average since. I have never been impressed with Rinne when we have played him, to be completely honest, but the games I see him when we don't play him, he can be awesome. We also have a tendency to burn Lundqvist pretty good, and if people want to talk about playoff failures for a great goaltender...I think Henrik should be in that conversation.

The thing with goaltending is that there is so much liquidity to it year after year, and very rarely does one guy stay on top for long. A lot of guys rise to the top, then fall back into the pack. If looking at a lot of top goalies, Fleury is still on the younger side. I could totally see him having a year or two where he's considered one of the top 3 goaltenders in the league.

This argument is just too emotional for me, to be honest. You have people who want to knock Fleury down, and you have people who want to build Fleury back up. It's too much like the Staal debate I had for years, and it's really not worth debating because no one will ever change their mind.


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02-09-2013, 10:13 AM
  #155
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Originally Posted by Ogelthorpe View Post
Rask, Seriously??? Wow is that bad. Just one more quick thought Luongo vs Fleury, I bet you get a lot of Vancouver fans that vote MAF. biggest reason, games 6 and 7. Lu choked and Flower went god mode. And don't say 2 games don't count, because when they are the 2 biggest games of your life, they most certainly do!
I think we should all just agree to disagree with you and move on. You cherry pick the parts of our posts you want to respond to while ignoring the rest. If you want to think Fleury is elite, by all means go ahead. If you want to think there are "stats" goalies and non stat goalies, that's your right as well. Either way, I'm happy with our current goaltending duo.

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02-09-2013, 10:23 AM
  #156
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Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
Couple of my buddies took all the goalies and tried to come up with a tier ranking that would be fair. Fleury sits at the top of the second tier. The only elite goalies we had were: Hank, Quick, Thomas (if not retired), Marty, and my buddy tried to get Rinne in there.

We all felt comfortable saying he's as good or belongs in the same tiered group as Price, Luongo, Kipper, Niemi, etc.

So if you really want to discuss elite/top goalies, you will be shocked with who actually is out there. I don't think a lot of them are better than Fleury. Everyone knows Lu's saga. Niemi has had some duds, but also played amazing to get a Cup. Price and Kipper are stud goalies to me, but are they really on a whole different level than Fleury?

When you take the time and look who else is out there, I don't think this is an era where we see a ton of amazing Roy like goalies.
Rinne should absolutely be in the top tier. Overall a solid list. I guess the thing is that there are a lot of good goalies in the NHL and there isn't a lot that separates them. If I had to make a ranking, I'd say the elite are: Lundqvist, Thomas, Brodeur, Rinne, and possibly Quick. He hasn't been elite long enough to be moved into that category yet IMO (plus he has struggled so far this year).

Then you look at the rest of the goalies and there isn't much that separates them. You have really good young guys like Rask and Schneider who could very well be better than Fleury. You have veterans like Kipper and Luongo that have played at an elite level at times and solid at others. I guess my point is it is hard to distinguish the next level of guys.

Then what do you do with guys like Mike Smith and Kari Lehtonen that have been very good over the last year and a half? Where are they on the list?

At the end of the day, Fleury puts up numbers that clearly show he an NHL starter. That said, there is no proof other than a Cup win that he is anything more than many of the other starters in this league.

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02-09-2013, 10:28 AM
  #157
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to add to Shady and respond to the original topic, you don't bench guys who have shown to be NHL starters. And for anyone mentioning it, you sure as hell don't trade them away when they are in their 20's.

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02-09-2013, 10:37 AM
  #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkin4Top6Wingerz View Post
On some level I can buy the focus argument with Fleury to explain why he rarely ever gets shutouts (and I agree it's an overrated stat anyways), but I don't know if it applies to him being so leaky on the first shot. I would think his focus level would be very high at the start of games.

The other problem with the argument that his struggles are focus related is that he's played quite a bit better in the regular season than the playoffs, where again we would assume his focus level to be higher on average. That suggests he just might not be able to handle the pressure. Any way you slice it, these are the issues that prevent him from entering any 'elite' goalie discussion.

Regarding goalie rankings, I agree that Fleury is sort of jumbled in with a handful of guys where you can at least state a convincing case in their favor. Those who I think have seperated themselves are guys like Lundvist, Rinne, Quick, Thomas, Miller, Luongo, Brodeur, Rask, Backstrom, and yes .. Vokoun. Then there's the mix that Fleury is in which are guys like Ward, Price, Niemi, Hiller, Anderson, Kiprusoff, Bryzgalov, Schneider, Backstrom etc. I'd give the edge to a few goalies in that second list which means Fleury is around 15th or so. In other words, an average starter. Seems reasonable to me.
What have Miller, Brodeur, and Backstrom done in the last few years to distinguish themselves? The only guys who can be counted on game in and game out to be excellent are Rinne, Thomas, Rask, and Lundqvist.I think Carey Price is straddling that line right now the rest have either fallen out of favor in the past few years or don't have enough of a record to prove that they can do it over a period of a few years.

Fleury falls in with "the rest of them", they guys who are good starters but he is certainly no border guy like Niemi, Anderson, Schneider, or especially Price

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02-09-2013, 10:41 AM
  #159
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to add to Shady and respond to the original topic, you don't bench guys who have shown to be NHL starters. And for anyone mentioning it, you sure as hell don't trade them away when they are in their 20's.
Absolutely. Fleury should not be benched. I forgot that was the title of this thread. He is an NHL starting goalie and now we have 2. I couldn't be happier with our goaltending tandem.

edit: Well I guess "I couldn't be happier" isn't accurate but you get what I mean.

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02-09-2013, 10:43 AM
  #160
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What have Miller, Brodeur, and Backstrom done in the last few years to distinguish themselves? The only guys who can be counted on game in and game out to be excellent are Rinne, Thomas, Rask, and Lundqvist.I think Carey Price is straddling that line right now the rest have either fallen out of favor in the past few years or don't have enough of a record to prove that they can do it over a period of a few years.

Fleury falls in with "the rest of them", they guys who are good starters but he is certainly no border guy like Niemi, Anderson, Schneider, or especially Price
Niemi and Schneider are borderline grouped with Rinne and Lundqvist? Am I reading that right?

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02-09-2013, 10:45 AM
  #161
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Niemi and Schneider are borderline grouped with Rinne and Lundqvist? Am I reading that right?
I hope not

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02-09-2013, 10:50 AM
  #162
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I hope not
me too. I don't agree with Anderson either but that's less ridiculous at least.

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02-09-2013, 10:53 AM
  #163
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Way better numbers career? seriously? Price and Quick have career .916 save% and Ward's is .910 compared to Fleury's .909% career......you think those are significantly better numbers??? seriously, put down the bottle man!

Lets also remember that Flowers numbers include 2 seasons as a teenager, something neither Price nor Quick did, not to mention that those 2 seasons the Pens were by far the WORST team in the league.
Fleury played 21 career NHL games as a teenager (age 18-19) and 4 NHL games at age 20. If you want to compare the same age sample sets:

Fleury (age 20-25): .907 (7970 shots)
Price (age 20-25): .917 (8318 shots)

Over the course of 8000-8300 shots, that's a very significant difference. If you apply Fleury's sv% to the Montreal shot against total, that's an additional 77 goals surrendered.


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02-09-2013, 04:50 PM
  #164
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The people who know the most about hockey complain about MAF the least. That's just about all you need to know.

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02-09-2013, 04:53 PM
  #165
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The people who know the most about hockey complain about MAF the least. That's just about all you need to know.
"But he doesn't look good on my fantasy team! That makes him a bad goalie! The stat sheet says so!"

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02-09-2013, 05:05 PM
  #166
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Fleury played 21 career NHL games as a teenager (age 18-19) and 4 NHL games at age 20. If you want to compare the same age sample sets:

Fleury (age 20-25): .907 (7970 shots)
Price (age 20-25): .917 (8318 shots)

Over the course of 8000-8300 shots, that's a very significant difference. If you apply Fleury's sv% to the Montreal shot against total, that's an additional 77 goals surrendered.
Jesus Christ...

This is essentially what I'm talking about. And now the pendulum will swing the other way.

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02-09-2013, 05:13 PM
  #167
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Jesus Christ...

This is essentially what I'm talking about. And now the pendulum will swing the other way.
I tried telling the stat guys they need to watch the games, but apparently that's lame and has no merit.

If you really want to be an expert on hockey, you have to limit yourself to only looking at stat sheets and box scores.

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02-09-2013, 05:21 PM
  #168
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Rask, Seriously??? Wow is that bad. Just one more quick thought Luongo vs Fleury, I bet you get a lot of Vancouver fans that vote MAF. biggest reason, games 6 and 7. Lu choked and Flower went god mode. And don't say 2 games don't count, because when they are the 2 biggest games of your life, they most certainly do!
LOL, you take issue with me including Rask in that list? Among goalies with 100+ starts he has the highest save percentage in NHL history, and by a decent margin too. Only a fool would take Fleury ahead of Rask at the present moment.

I don't want to hear about Fleury's inherent clutchness when 2 of his last 4 playoff series have been some of the worst goaltending ever seen, and in the other two his save percentage below .900. As great as Fleury was in those final two games against Detroit, 'clutchness' only matters to me if it's a repeatable skill. The last three seasons have proven that it's anything but.

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02-09-2013, 05:24 PM
  #169
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I tried telling the stat guys they need to watch the games, but apparently that's lame and has no merit.
It is lame and it doesn't have merit. The Penguins fans who are criticizing Fleury have watched him just as much as you have.

Ask Montreal fans who they'd rather have. Actually don't, because they are homers just like people on here are. Ask neutral fans of other teams. I'm betting the vast majority would take Price over Fleury.

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02-09-2013, 05:27 PM
  #170
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What have Miller, Brodeur, and Backstrom done in the last few years to distinguish themselves? The only guys who can be counted on game in and game out to be excellent are Rinne, Thomas, Rask, and Lundqvist.I think Carey Price is straddling that line right now the rest have either fallen out of favor in the past few years or don't have enough of a record to prove that they can do it over a period of a few years.

Fleury falls in with "the rest of them", they guys who are good starters but he is certainly no border guy like Niemi, Anderson, Schneider, or especially Price
Miller and Backstrom have been about as consistently good as you can expect any goalie to be. Brodeur is iffy at this age but seems to be playing at a pretty high level the past year and change now like we're accustomed to seeing with him.

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02-09-2013, 05:35 PM
  #171
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It is lame and it doesn't have merit. The Penguins fans who are criticizing Fleury have watched him just as much as you have.

Ask Montreal fans who they'd rather have. Actually don't, because they are homers just like people on here are. Ask neutral fans of other teams. I'm betting the vast majority would take Price over Fleury.
How many of them look at stats too? In fact, how many of them would say Price over Fleury just because there's jealousy and hatred outside of Pittsburgh when it comes to the Penguins?

Besides, what did Carey Price ever do?

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02-09-2013, 05:50 PM
  #172
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How many of them look at stats too? In fact, how many of them would say Price over Fleury just because there's jealousy and hatred outside of Pittsburgh when it comes to the Penguins?
It's one thing to say stats aren't the end all be all, it's another to dismiss them entirely because they don't support your opinion. You're doing the latter.

According to you it appears we can't go by the opinions of neutral fans because they're either stat watchers or have an intrinsic dislike of the Penguins so we should instead believe Penguin fans, but only the ones who aren't biased like you.

Quote:
Besides, what did Carey Price ever do?
As much as anybody could reasonably expect playing behind the Montreal Canadiens.

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02-09-2013, 06:55 PM
  #173
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How many of them look at stats too? In fact, how many of them would say Price over Fleury just because there's jealousy and hatred outside of Pittsburgh when it comes to the Penguins?

Besides, what did Carey Price ever do?
Consistently stop pucks at a higher rate than Fleury while playing on a weaker team?

I'll now await your predictable "STAT WATCHER!! WATCH THE GAMES!!!" response.

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02-09-2013, 07:22 PM
  #174
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OK stats aside from watching the games. Fleury makes (or has to make) some spectacular saves...some because he is not quite in the best position, some because he is scrambling, some because of the way he gives rebounds, and mostly because he is very athletic and has the ability to make them. He also lets in soft goals, just like every goalie does, but for him it does seem to happen a little more often than expected for a goalie of his calibre (average starter), and he does appear nervous in situations where most starters seem more composed and often elite goalies seem unflappable.

He is a bonafide starting goalie in the NHL, but not elite and never really has been, though like every other bonafide starter he does play like an elite goalie from time to time.

Vokoun seems to be at a similar level overall. Perhaps as talented. Perhaps not. I haven't seen enough of his games to say.

Money and cap space aside, not a bad situation to be in. I would play both fairly evenly for now and hopefully through the 48 games, unless it becomes necessary to change, then go with the hot hand for the playoffs. Hopefully there will be one.

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02-09-2013, 08:02 PM
  #175
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In a weird way, Fleury's athleticism is often his worst enemy because I think he relies on it too much. It seems like it sometimes takes the place of fundamentals and sound positioning. It also causes him to overplay shots which, to this day, I still think is his biggest issue. I actually think Fleury would improve drastically if he simplified everything and worked on more subtle movements in net.

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