WBS Pens @ Hershey Bears Game 3 Official Thread

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Postby Goalie on Thu May 11, 2006 9:27 pm

Vanbiesbrouck wrote:He does not steal games. He won several games on good preformances last season. He saw a ton of shots every game, so if he happened to be on, then statistically, he had a great game.

As I mentioned, people that watch the game don't need to quantify a goalie stealing a game by citing stats or scores. It's a big save in a close game at the right moment. It's a goalie being in a zone and having a calming influence on his team and slowing the play when necessary. It's stopping a breakaway in a run and gun game, to send your team breaking back on a 2 on 1. See: Martin Brodeur.


The definition of stealing a game has changed so many times I am not even sure where we are at on it anymore. What does facing a lot of shots have to do with it? How about a game versus Washington where he stops 23/24 through two periods and then a 3-1 close game turns into an 8-1 blowout in the third? There were a few games where he was stellar early on and then the team found their stride to win a game? The reason I gave examples is that I was trying to figure out what you were trying to say, so once again I will ask what you think of the 45 saves in Philly right before he was sent down?

I can understand why one would be hesitant to sign Fleury long term if they were unsure about his future potential, I just disagree with your evaluation of him. I am not being sarcastic but how many games did you see him play? I am just curious.
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Postby Vanbiesbrouck on Thu May 11, 2006 11:43 pm

I don't watch hockey games and have never seen Fleury play. The answer to your non sarcastic and certainly pertinent question aside....

As said before, one win with 45 saves doesn't impress me. Stats are not what I'm talking about. You're going to make a lot of saves for a bad defensive team every once in a while. You're also going to get blown out in games that weren't the goalie's fault. Would you like to list the games he got shelled because of poor defense? The situation has been sub-optimal to this point, he is young, and there's no arguing that he's shown some promise. My point is that he isn't showing things on a consistent basis that great goalies do.

He has not shown that he can steal a big game for a team that needs it. He has not shown several other things that make great goalies great that I have mentioned in other posts and won't bother repeating again. I am hoping that he starts showing that this season.
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Postby Goalie on Fri May 12, 2006 12:00 am

Vanbiesbrouck wrote:I don't watch hockey games and have never seen Fleury play. The answer to your non sarcastic and certainly pertinent question aside....

As said before, one win with 45 saves doesn't impress me. Stats are not what I'm talking about. You're going to make a lot of saves for a bad defensive team every once in a while. You're also going to get blown out in games that weren't the goalie's fault. Would you like to list the games he got shelled because of poor defense? The situation has been sub-optimal to this point, he is young, and there's no arguing that he's shown some promise. My point is that he isn't showing things on a consistent basis that great goalies do.

He has not shown that he can steal a big game for a team that needs it. He has not shown several other things that make great goalies great that I have mentioned in other posts and won't bother repeating again. I am hoping that he starts showing that this season.


It is pertinent how much you have seen Fluery play, how can one accurately evaluate him without seeing him in the majority of games he has played this year?

We were never discussing games he was lit up because of poor defense, that was not relevant. There were definetely games where that happened, there were other games he played poorly and it was his own fault. We were discussing games where "stole", or carried, the Penguins to wins. I gave a few examples that fit your criteria and you brushed them off as just "stats". Fleury was the main reason the Penguins won the game where he made 45 saves in Philly, its pretty hard to debate that in my opinion.

I also think expecting him to do the things great goalies do at the age of 21 is a little bit of a stretch. Fleury does not have to be Brodeur or Roy to have a great NHL career and fulfill his potential. The likes of Brodeur and Roy may never be seen again especially the numbers they put up with the style of game that was played from the mid 90's to the lockout.
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Postby Vanbiesbrouck on Fri May 12, 2006 12:19 am

The reason I don't care about the stats is because the Pens teams don't allow for a goalie's stats to really show how he has played. In that sense, the few good games and the few bad games are irrelevant in just the same ways.

I've noticed a pattern with Fleury that I hope stops. That pattern is that he is weak when his team really needs him in many situations. He cannot steal the game the way other goalies do. He doesn't control the game the way other goalies do, especially playoff proven goalies. He has looked pathetic in shootouts. He looked lost in the AHL playoffs, to the point that I'd say WB/S was out of the playoffs this year after his game 3 first period performance (which is what this thread was about, in the first place). He totally blew the WJC. It's a disturbing pattern that needs to change.

The point I keep making is that Fleury has not shown consistency in stealing big games or making big saves for his team. I actually am a Fleury supporter. He is young and I hope he develops. What exactly is it that you're trying to convince me of that is more realistic than that?
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Postby Goalie on Fri May 12, 2006 9:42 am

Vanbiesbrouck wrote:The reason I don't care about the stats is because the Pens teams don't allow for a goalie's stats to really show how he has played. In that sense, the few good games and the few bad games are irrelevant in just the same ways.

I've noticed a pattern with Fleury that I hope stops. That pattern is that he is weak when his team really needs him in many situations. He cannot steal the game the way other goalies do. He doesn't control the game the way other goalies do, especially playoff proven goalies. He has looked pathetic in shootouts. He looked lost in the AHL playoffs, to the point that I'd say WB/S was out of the playoffs this year after his game 3 first period performance (which is what this thread was about, in the first place). He totally blew the WJC. It's a disturbing pattern that needs to change.

The point I keep making is that Fleury has not shown consistency in stealing big games or making big saves for his team. I actually am a Fleury supporter. He is young and I hope he develops. What exactly is it that you're trying to convince me of that is more realistic than that?


I have no problem with someone who criticizes Fleury, that was never my point, my point was people like to criticize Fleury who have very little understanding of goaltending. The criticisms come in so vague that regardless of what happens they mold the argument a little to make it fit that day. I guess its just a lot easier to blame the goalie for people than really understand what is going on.

Plus he is 21 years old and I just get the feeling that people want him to be Patrick Roy right now and it is just not going to happen. For one, Patrick Roy in his prime would not have taken this team to the playoffs, they would win a few more games but there would not be a dramatic change.

There are areas he needs to improve, he does need to control rebounds better. Either become more active with the glove, ala Barrasso, to control more shots that way, and/or really work hard to model the way Brodeur has become a master of directing shots to harmless areas when the shot can not be absorbed. He also needs to improve his stickhandling, I do think the WJC has had a lasting mental affect on his stickhandling, but he can improve it with practice. He does not have to become Barrasso, just efficient.

As a side note do not discredit what Team USA did in that WJC, they came out in the 3rd period of that game and took it from Team Canada. The last goal was on a fluke play but Team USA dominated Canada when it mattered and won that game.

Lastly, Fleury just needs the overall improvement of his game that comes with experience and time. He practices had by every account outside of Bob Errey and his overall play should improve, combine that with working on specific areas and Fleury should be a very good goaltender for a long time.
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