Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was solid for most of Wednesday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but he looked pretty bad on the game-tying and overtime goals.
It might just be shrugged off as a bad performance if it was an isolated incident, but Fleury now has a 3.18 GAA and .903 save percentage in the 2014 playoffs after a solid regular season.
That follows an all-too familiar script that sees Fleury excel in the regular season and then take a step back when it matters the most. An argument can be made that he’s struggled in every playoff run since the Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2009.
With that in mind, it’s perhaps not surprising that the reaction to Fleury’s performance on Wednesday was heavily critical despite the great saves he made earlier in the game. Here’s a sampling of the reaction on Twitter from a number of notable hockey writers and commentators:
Not only is the series tied, but Playoff Fleury is baaaack. Columbus is in this damn thing!
— Dan Tencer (@dantencer) April 24, 2014
I feel bad for Fleury. He’s so calamity-prone he should carry around an “Oops” sign, like Wile E. Coyote.
— Harrison Mooney (@HarrisonMooney) April 24, 2014
As much as Marc-Andre Fleury is an absolute hot mess vs Columbus, Dan Bylsma should be scrutinized heavily. Something very wrong in Pitt
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) April 24, 2014
And this is the worst thing that can happen for PIT. Not 2-2 back home; that it's now a Fleury Series.
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) April 24, 2014
"The amount of criticism Fleury is enduring is inexcusable. We are ready to offer him critique-free safe haven" – the KHL, soon #Pens
— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) April 24, 2014
I've been one of Fleury's biggest supporters (look at his W-L record) but if he doesn't lock down this series, the whispers get even louder.
— Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) April 24, 2014
Ya gotta keep going w/Fleury. Let's see if that's sports psychology paid off. But Marc has 1 foot on a banana peel &another 1 out the door.
— Mark Madden (@MarkMaddenX) April 24, 2014
Turns out Flyers aren't the only team in Fleury's head.
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) April 24, 2014
So Fleury is a great goalie because he's won and Lundqvist isn't because he hasn't, right? Just checking.
— Rangers Report (@rangersreport) April 24, 2014
Fleury messed up on the final two goals. Can't deny that. But his teammates were outshot 46-25 by the Blue Jackets. Can't deny that, either.
— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) April 24, 2014