Look, MAF was not great in any of those series. But come on, you are not being honest when you say MAF was the only reason this team has failed early in the last three playoffs. Its pretty damn hard to be good in goal when your team is constantly leaving wide open guys in front of the net and when theres a Penguin Parade to the penalty box like there was against the Flyers.
The whole team has been bad in the playoffs the last three years. That needs to change because the playoffs are all that should matter to anyone at this point.
Three years that mean nothing. This one is all that matters. I've recounted many times how much respect I have for NHL goalies, but the simple fact is you cannot win when your goalie gets consistently outplayed, and your lying to yourself if you say the Pens skaters did not outplay the opponent in Montreal and Tampa. The Flyers series was a mixture, but Fleury gave up 2 softies per game in that series, many on the PK as well - and ALWAYS at the worst emotional point in the games.
The reason I have so much to say is that I have played for many, many years and at a decent level - at least a level where the games meant quite a bit to me and to my teammates. The collective emotion is CRITICAL to hockey - more than systems and matchups and anything else. The MOST important player on the ice is the goalie. Fact. He has the ability to inject or extract confidence from 18 guys on his team.
People who fight that idea just don't know Hockey. Period.