NashvilleCat wrote:Let's see:
1. Fleury posted a record number of wins this year, put up good numbers, sparked some trophy talk during the year
2. Johnson and Theissen were awful and not as good as needed respectively
3. The defense and forwards took a vacation from playing defense and killing penalties late in the year and playoffs
4. Fleury played more games than he should have and faded down the stretch
5. At the end of the season the GM said he was going to get rid of some defensemen
6. Said GM signs a veteran goalie at a decent price to take the load off of probably the best goalie in franchise history
Sounds to me like a team trying to help shore up its defense and protect a player who is part of the best core group of players in the league (even if Giroux is the bestest player ever in the history of all sports). If Fleury plays like he did in the playoffs then yes, he's in trouble. But then again, if the rest of the team plays the same way in front of him they're in trouble too. But then again, so are the coaches and maybe even the GM.
Addressing point number 1:
I agree and that was amazing, and I don't think Fleury gets the credit he deserves for that. I think he made our defense look far better than they were. IMO, if the Pens weren't such a juggernaut offensively, this season would have been very different. I'm not knocking Fleury's stats, but they're not impressive for winning as many games as he did. I'm not saying that shows he played sub-par, but I think that shows the weakness of the team in front of him. If the Pens thought he was the main reason, obviously we wouldn't see the urgency of changing our of dmen, but they're obviously doing things to ensure we're strong at goal and that's just smart building, but at the same time the rhetoric out of the organization is a little suspect along with the timing of everything else.
The other thing I meant to bring up when mentioning by conversation with my friend the Rangers fan is that it's always interesting to see other sides of how your team is viewed. We can try as hard as he want, but when we as Pens fans critique our team, there's always a degree of homerism whether we like to admit it or not. Looking at the three seasons post-cup win, we can make lots of excuses for Fleury and plenty of them are valid, but no matter what we say, the fact are true: The Pens have been very un-impressive in the playoffs since then and Fleury's play always comes into question from people who are not Pens fans.
2009/2010 - ousted by the Habs. We can argue a lot of things. The Pens as a whole just played bad that series.
2010/2011 - Losing in the first round to the Bolts. Obviously the team was a broken version of the Pens not having Malkin, Sid or Cooke. The Pens were impressive that year despite all they faced.
2011/2012 - We can argue(which I do) that Fleury was overworked the entire season and you can only lean on a player for so long.
Hearing other people talk about Fleury whether I agree with them or not is always interesting. I personally feel that Fleury is not only elite, but not as highly regarded by the Media as he should be. Others argue if he's that good, then he should be able to shine behind the team the Penguins had this year despite their weak D.
I'm not turning on Fleury, I don't want him to go and I have faith he can bring us another cup. I'm kind of playing devil's advocate in a sense, but in reality, I think the timing of things that would normally appear like business as usual is not so business as usual.