Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Eric Staal

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Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Eric Staal

Postby netwolf on Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:03 pm

How much different (better or worse) would this team be if the Pens had drafted Staal instead of Fleury? Franchise goalies are much harder to come by than top-flight centers and they take longer to develop. That said, Staal is really good now and should get better. Would Staal be where he is now if he had been picked by Pittsburgh though?

Discuss.

(Thanks to pfim for giving me this idea.)
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Re: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Eric Staal

Postby pfim on Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:08 pm

netwolf wrote:How much different (better or worse) would this team be if the Pens had drafted Staal instead of Fleury? Franchise goalies are much harder to come by than top-flight centers and they take longer to develop. That said, Staal is really good now and should get better. Would Staal be where he is now if he had been picked by Pittsburgh though?

Discuss.

(Thanks to pfim for giving me this idea.)


They might be more entertaining in the offensive zone, not sure if they'd be any better. They may have attempted to get a better goaltender this past summer, but not sure who that would have been. Still no defense, they'd still be missing 4-5 quality forwards.
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Postby guiner on Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:19 pm

I was thinking about this during the canes game. I still think we have the right guy long term. Staal is awesome, but MAF will be as good and more important long term IMO. Plus we have enough talent at center in Crosby and Malkin.

I'm still very happy with the draft decision.

g
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Re: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Eric Staal

Postby Draftnik on Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:23 pm

netwolf wrote:How much different (better or worse) would this team be if the Pens had drafted Staal instead of Fleury? Franchise goalies are much harder to come by than top-flight centers and they take longer to develop. That said, Staal is really good now and should get better. Would Staal be where he is now if he had been picked by Pittsburgh though?

Discuss.

(Thanks to pfim for giving me this idea.)


I don't think it ever was an option. The trade with Florida was made because the Panthers wanted Horton or Staal. If the Pens told Florida they would take one of those guys the deal never would have been made. Carolina allegedly was always taking Staal. They took Ward the year before, so it is very plausible that they would not be interested in MAF.

I'd rather have Staal. At this point he is much more a sure thing than MAF. I agree forwards develop much faster than goalies, but the flip side is MAF will probably not hit his peak playing years until he is eligible for UFA. The Canes will get several years of excellent production out of Staal for reasonable Cap value. Horton is also puting up some nice goal per game numbers this season. At this rate he should be a 35-40 goal producer next season if he plays 80 games.
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Re: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Eric Staal

Postby Goalie on Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:29 pm

netwolf wrote:How much different (better or worse) would this team be if the Pens had drafted Staal instead of Fleury? Franchise goalies are much harder to come by than top-flight centers and they take longer to develop.


It is hard to say how much better or worse the Penguins would be because it would not be fair to assume that Caron/Thibault would have been the goalies this year if Fluery was not around. The Penguins may have drafted another goalie at some point or made a bigger push to sign someone different in free agency.

In a way it is also unfair to compare the two players as well and not because one is on a very good team and one is on a very bad team. Your second sentence says it all, goalies take longer to develop so it should make sense that Staal would be farther along at this point.

Staal has great numbers as we all know and for a while Fluery had numbers that were amazing for the caliber of team he is playing behind. Even right now his save percentage is .897 and if he would get that back above .900 he should get some kind of plaque. Fluery is wearing down, as was to be expected, and I don't expect him to be able to get that number back above .900. (It would also help Fluery if his goaltending partner could actually play a whole game more than once a month when given the oppurtunity but that is a different story)

To take the cynic's point of view on both players it is possible that Fluery will not continue to develop and never be a true #1 goalie. It is also possible that this could be Staal's best season and never put up that many points again. I do not think either one of those two scenarios will happen but anything is possible and they would not be the first player of their caliber to fall short of expectations even after having NHL success.

I think the Penguins made the right pick by drafting Fluery and part of that is the fact that franchise caliber goalies do not come along all that often. The other is that he is extremely talented and seems to want to work hard to get better (No matter what Errey says, I have heard way more about how hard he practices than one or two blurbs from Errey).

Staal is a very good player and it may be that in the end it may turn out that the Penguins could not have went wrong picking either player but I think the Penguins can feel safe in the pick they made.
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Postby DelPen on Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:49 pm

Draftnik is correct, we never had a shot. Florida picked up an extra pick and utility player for essentially doing nothing but doing CP a favor. If CP did not outright tell FL and Carolina that he was taking Fleury the Canes would have offered Flroida a better deal to assure getting Staal.

In the long run, and even short run as soon as next year, we will have two centers better than Staal anyways and a franchise goalie. I'd much rather have Crosby OR Malkin over Staal and having both of them makes me say Eric who?
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Postby Ironhorse on Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:55 pm

I wanted Staal when we drafted MAF, but I'm happy with MAF.
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Postby the wicked child on Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:17 am

Look at it this way: if we had taken Staal (which was unlikely given that he was Carolina's guy), he probably would have had a more immediate impact... but he might have been enough to keep the Pens from finishing last overall in 03-04, which in all likeliehood would have prevented them from getting Malkin and Crosby.

I'll take Fleury, Crosby (and hopefully soon) Malkin over Staal... although I will admit I REALLY wanted the Pens to take him at the time. I'm happy with Fleury though... I think this kid will be awesome in a couple years, but it starts with the team around him getting better... and it honestly can't get worse at this point. (unless CP traded Crosby for Brett Hull's rights :lol: )
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Postby jmh70 on Mon Mar 06, 2006 2:07 am

Well, we all know what Bob Errey thinks (but we don't care, of course).

In Fleury, the Pens have great goaltending for as long as they can keep him. Another post I read somewhere correctly pointed out how MAF is better at 21 than Roy, Luongo, and Dipietro were at that age. Just think of MAF's performances against St. Louis and Detroit earlier this season. Eventually, he will be able to do that every night.

And why was this discussion brought up now? Because MAF gave up 3 goals after being unexpectedly thrown into the fire against Carolina? Talk about overreaction.
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Postby the wicked child on Mon Mar 06, 2006 2:53 am

Just what IS Errey's problem with Fleury? Did MAF take a dump in his yard or something? Errey is jsut out right brutal every time he so much as flinches, yet goes to great lengths to defend Caron even when he gives up one of his trademark "go down early and let them shoot it over you" goals.

Too bad we can't trade Errey at the deadline for a competent color guy. There must be another old time Pen who is out or work... I wonder what Gene Ubriacho is up to. :lol:
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Postby NIN on Mon Mar 06, 2006 3:03 am

I would say that they would be even worse if you can beleive that. Besides Jordan Staal is rated the 4th best prospect in the upcomming draft and many experts beleive he is far more talented then his big brother Eric! The Pens will have Fleury and a better Staal plus Malkin who is better then both of them and Crosby who is better then all of them! Plus if they trade down and get Staal the will get another top prsopect to boot!

The future is so bright you gotta wear 8) .
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Postby netwolf on Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:59 am

jmh70 wrote:And why was this discussion brought up now? Because MAF gave up 3 goals after being unexpectedly thrown into the fire against Carolina? Talk about overreaction.


Actually, that did have something to do with it, but not exactly the way you think. When Fleury came in, I remembered they were in the same draft class, then was reminded of it in another thread last night so I decided to post about it. It had nothing to do with Fleury's performance. If I really felt that way, I would have blasted Fleury in my opening post.

For the record, I think that if you have a shot at a franchise goalie, you take him. I also think you should invest a ton of money in a good, full-time goalie coach to miximize the kid's potential, but apparently the organization disagrees.

Besides, as was pointed out earlier, maybe if Staal is here the Pens are slightly better and that prevents them from getting Corsby and/or Malkin. I had not thought of that...
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twists & turns of fate...

Postby penny lane on Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:04 am

"Besides, as was pointed out earlier, maybe if Staal is here the Pens are slightly better and that prevents them from getting Corsby and/or Malkin. I had not thought of that..."

Without a goalie of high pedigree or a very hot-playing goalie
teams with all the scoring still will not win a stanley cup.
Haven't given up on Flower Fleury at all. Rick Nash is the one
I would like pens to get that year but hindsight is behind. :lol:

Need it (team) to all mesh and it doesn't usually happen by draft
picks alone. Having the 2 best young centers but nobody to convert
their passing skills into goals will only frustrate.

I'd like scoring wingers if you please. :P
A match pair of leftie/righty.
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Postby Mad City Mike on Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:20 am

I am happy with the pick of Fleury. He is progressing nicely. But you really can't decide the verdict until three or four years down the road. If Fleury doesn't develop into an elite goalie, then it was a huge mistake. If he does, then absolutely it was the right move.
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Postby Pitts on Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:22 am

I'm more than happy with the Fleury pick. Top-end goalies are few and far between and he looks to be a keeper, especially once this team learns how to play.

You cannot factor Crosby and Malkin into this equation because, had we chosen Staal, things may have been quite different and those 2 might not be here. Staal would be great to watch for the Pen's right now (if he would even be as effective for this team as he is for Carolina), but we have Crosby and Malkin currently to look forward to. And, that is/will be just as impressive and fun. Oh, and we also have what should be one of the top 5 goalies in the league in a few seasons.
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Postby DelPen on Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:45 am

It's funny some of you guys are questioning drafting Fleury over Staal. WE NEVER WOULD HAVE HAD THE CHANCE. We were slotted 3. Florida wanted Horton, Carolina wanted Staal. We wanted Fleury and made a small move that assured Florida of not moving down and letting another team pick #1. There was a ton of interest in getting Fleury. The Flyers were trying to work a deal out with the Panthers to move to #1 that year. The trade only happened because all three teams agreed beforehand who they were taking, much like the year before when Columbus moved up to get Nash, Atlanta was taking Lehtonen regardless at #2 and FL wanted Bouwemeester the whole time.

If you want to make this a relevant conversation throw in Zherdev instead of Staal because at #3 that's what we would have been faced with.
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Postby Stoosh on Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:46 am

I'd still take Fleury and here's why.

You don't get the full sense of how good Fleury is until you go and watch him in person. And when you go to watch him play, you have to constantly remind yourself that a) this is a kid who JUST turned 21 years old a few months ago b) playing a position where 21-year olds are almost NEVER saddled completely with #1 goaltending duties.

MOST NHL goaltenders aren't ready to handle the pressure and grind of being a #1 goaltender until their mid-20s. The truly special ones start earlier, but still don't begin to play at an elite level until around age 23. Roberto Luongo didn't play 55 games in an NHL season until he was almost 23 (58 games in 2001-02, and he turned 23 in April of '02). DiPeitro still hasn't played 55 games in a season at this level, although it's safe to assume he would've last year if not for the lockout. He's 24 years old already. Lehtonen's almost a full year older than Fleury. Ryan Miller is 25 and he's just beginning to establish himself as a top-notch goalie; he'll be 26 before the next season starts. Hell, Martin Biron's already 28 and people are talking about him like he's still a prospect.

So you can kind of see what we're looking at here. At the very least, Fleury is developing along the same track as guys like Luongo and DiPietro. You could easily argue that he's ahead of the curve.

Plus, I don't think anyone ever projected Staal to become this complete a player. I saw the kid play in the OHL twice, and I never would've guessed he would've become this good. He had the hands and the hockey sense, that was for sure. I don't know where the hell the speed came from because he didn't seem this fast in the OHL. He was a fluid skater, but he wasn't fast.

Let me put it this way...whenever you have a centerman who does just about everything very well, but doesn't have one feature of his game that truly stands out, he inevitably gets compared to Ron Francis. From what I saw and read of Staal when he came out of the OHL, those comparisons couldn't have been more accurate. Of any player in recent memory that was saddled with the "Ron Francis" comparison, he reminded me most of Ron Francis. That's why I was so surprised to see how Staal's game has developed. The speed that he's shown to have at this level truly came out of nowhere.

So in a sense, is he overachieving? I don't know if that's the right word. But let's just say I think he's been a bit of a surprise at the NHL level. I think a lot of people expected him to evolve into a very solid player, not necessarily a franchise-caliber centerman who excels in so many phases of the game.
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Postby Scott on Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:53 am

Still too early to tell.

When the Pens start having meaningful games and we need the big save...can he do it?

Can he be a shut down goalie with some good play in front of him?

Staal is going to produce regardless.

Lets compare in a few years...hopefully we will be the ones that are smiling.
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