Marc Andre Fleury

Fleury ‘trying not to think about’ his future in Pittsburgh

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Resigned to a backup role behind Tomas Vokoun, Marc-Andre Fleury says he’s only thinking about the present.

Mostly because he doesn’t want to think about the future.

That’s what the Penguins goalie told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Wednesday, suggesting his future is Pittsburgh is cloudy at best.

“I’m trying not to think about it,” Fleury said. “I don’t want to think about it.”

The numbers on Fleury don’t look good. He’s 28, with two years remaining on a seven-year, $35 million deal that carries a $5 million annual cap hit.

His playoff stats this year (2-2, .891 save percentage, 3.40 GAA) and last (2-4, .834 save percentage, 4.63 GAA) are incredibly concerning.

He plays on a team that has two huge contractual decisions to make after 2013-14 — UFAs Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang — and plays for a GM, Ray Shero, that has two compliance buyouts at his disposal.

So, what does it all mean?

The Pens don’t have any real goaltending prospects in the system.

They selected OHL Sault Ste. Marie netminder Matt Murray in the third round of the 2012 draft, and do have Jeff Zatkoff and Brad Thiessen with AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, where they won the Harry “Hap” Holmes trophy this year for fewest goals allowed.

But Zatkoff and Thiessen are 25 and 27, respectively.

Vokoun, obviously, is not Pittsburgh’s long-term solution in goal. He’s a 36-year-old journeyman that’ll be a free agent after 2014.

And, according to the Tribune-Review, there’s a slight chance he might not be the short-term solution either:

Coach Dan Bylsma has consistently declined to publicly commit to Vokoun, who has gone 6-1-1 on the strength of a .941 save percentage and 1.85 goals-against average.

Earlier this week, Bylsma appeared to plant a seed for The Flower to again bloom for the Penguins.

“He’s been practicing extremely well, and I think he’s ready to go in there and stop the puck when he gets that chance, when he gets that opportunity,” Bylsma said of Fleury on Monday.

Whatever the case, it promises to be an interesting summer when it comes to Pittsburgh’s crease conundrum.

Crosby says Pens have confidence in Fleury

Isles score on Fleury
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We can hear the rebuttals already — Well, what else is he supposed to say? That Marc-Andre Fleury is terrible and Tomas Vokoun should definitely start Game 5?

And while that particularly rebuttal may, in fact, have merit, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby still came out in support of his team’s embattled starting goalie the day after Fleury allowed six goals on 24 shots in a 6-4 loss to the Islanders.

“Our confidence (in him) is there,” said Crosby, per WDVE’s Mike Prisuta. “He’s won a Stanley Cup. He’s shown numerous times he can bounce back.”

But will Fleury be given the opportunity in Game 5 to show he can bounce back? The 28-year-old has given up 14 goals — a number of them questionable — in the last three games, and the Pens have a capable backup in veteran Tomas Vokoun.

Fleury also struggled badly in last year’s first-round loss to the Flyers.

Related: Columnist says Pens must start Vokoun in Game 5

Penguins injury bits: Fleury ‘available,’ Martin day-to-day

martinandfleurygetty
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Jarome Iginla’s potential presence isn’t the only variable for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Paul Martin and Marc-Andre Fleury’s remain up in the air, as well, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

As you probably know, Fleury’s dealing with a neck injury suffered against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. While he missed Thursday’s game, head coach Dan Bylsma vaguely said he’s available for tomorrow’s match.

Martin didn’t practice on Friday and his status remains a mystery beyond the fact that he apparently has an upper-body injury.

Stay tuned for updates as the team tries to extend its winning streak to 15 games against an Islanders team that’s creeping up the standings.

Report: Letang breaks toe in return, Fleury’s status unknown

Kris Letang
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Luck has not been on Kris Letang’s side. The Pittsburgh Penguins’ defenseman returned on Tuesday after missing three games due to a lower body injury.

He logged 24:20 minutes, but broke his toe, according to RDS’ Renaud Lavoie. On top of that, it sounds like he’s not completely over his original lower body problem. It’s not clear how much time Letang might miss due to these problems.

The silver lining is that blueliner Douglas Murray, who Pittsburgh acquired from the San Jose Sharks should make his Penguins’ debut in the not too distant future. Although Murray can’t replace Letang’s offensive contributions, he will bolster the team’s defense.

They might need that too because Marc-Andre Fleury status is also in doubt after a collision on Tuesday.

Lavoie reports that Fleury had a sore neck, but it will take some time before we know if his injury is serious.

Related:

Penguins push win streak to 13 games

Video: Marc-Andre Fleury injured during collision

Marc Andre Fleury
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The Pittsburgh Penguins have augmented their roster with two substantial trades, but now they might need to wonder about their situation in net after Marc-Andre Fleury was hurt thanks to this collision:

As you can see from the video, Brian Gionta pushed Tyler Kennedy into Fleury. It wasn’t the usual high-speed blow that often beguiles netminders; instead, it seemed like the 28-year-old took an awkward spill.

Tomas Vokoun spelled Fleury in the third period.

The Penguins made a significant investment in the 36-year-old as a $2 million-per-year backup. If Fleury is seriously hurt, they’ll need the Czech-born goalie to come up big … unless Ray Shero has even more up his sleeves.

(H/T to SBNation.)