DontToewsMeBro wrote:If Fleury is average (relative to the league standard) the Penguins will win on most nights. They don't need him to be Hasek. If Fleury is bad, the Penguins lose no matter what. There is nothing more deflating to a team than to know your goalie lets in soft goals. Again, before you bring out the pitckforks, Fleury has been pretty good this season (statistically speaking). Aside from a few (2?) terrible games, so has Vokoun--he did have >140 goal-less minutes between the pipes. I'm not singling anybody out here, I was merely making a comment that holds league-wide. I'm sorry if I offended anyone that praises at the altar of le fleur.
So you're saying that Fleury has had only 2 bad games yet his "numbers" are average. And because his numbers are average, he's just an average goalie. And that since he's average, you could find 15 other goalies in this league to take his place and the Pens wouldn't miss a beat. To take it one step further, since the theory currently floating around here is that goaltending is the least important aspect of the team, why don't we just promote Zatkoff to starting goalie and save a ton of cap space? I mean he only has to make the first save, right? Can't be that difficult? I can see it now, Zatkoff, the average goalie, leading the league in wins at a bargain basement price! Do it Shero!
There's something you're missing here:
You can't just throw any goalie in there. We aren't saying "Oh, any goalie in the league could be in Fleury's spot, and they'd put up similar numbers". That's far from it.
What we're saying is, you take the top 10-15 goalies in the NHL. You know, the Lundqvists, the Prices, the Rasks, the Rinnes, the Fleurys, etc. etc. These guys mostly put up stats because 1) they're good and they can make saves when they need to, and 2) they play on teams who play solidly in their own end.
If these goalies played for, say, the Panthers or the Islanders, there's no way they put up the numbers they do with their respective teams. Look at a guy like Varlamov, Holtby, or Neuvirth. When the Caps play(ed) good D, these guys couldn't be beat. But when the Caps play like the Caps, they look pedestrian compared to other goalies in the league. Hell, look at Rinne this year compared to last year. Goes from Vezina finalist and 43-game winner to a sub-.500 goalie. The team in front of him isn't that good (albeit moreso on offense), and his record has suffered.These goalies are good because their teams are good, and the teams are good because the goalies are good and make the saves they need to make.
No, you can't throw Zatkoff in there and expect similar numbers (see Brad Theissen or John Curry).
No, we aren't hating on Fleury.
Only on rare occasions do goalies carry their team. Even then, it's pretty likely that team is putting their goaltender in a position to win by limiting quality scoring chances.