As the lockout trudges onward, a pair of all-star goalies are now considering leaving North America to get work in Europe.
Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury tells Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that while he’s killing time working out and trying to stay fresh, he’s considering heading to Europe. Fleury was set to split time with Tomas Vokoun this season in Pittsburgh, but that monster tandem has been delayed thanks to the work stoppage.
Meanwhile in Buffalo, Ryan Miller tells Craig Custance of ESPN the Magazine, “If a team needs a goalie, I need to start considering it.” You may remember we had Miller’s thoughts on the lockout earlier this week in which he took NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to task.
The issue these two goalies may run into, however, is not being able to secure a top job. While many teams might want to add a superstar goalie to help bring the fans out, other goalies have found it hard to land work abroad. You’d like to think guys of Fleury and Miller’s capabilities wouldn’t have much trouble, however.
Perhaps allowing 20 goals in 10 periods messed with Marc-Andre Fleury’s head. Yet after “shutting out” the Philadelphia Flyers for the remaining two periods and getting a much-needed 10-3 win for the Pittsburgh Penguins, it seems that “MAF” still has a sense of whimsy. Dave Molinari got this gem from Fleury after what might have been a confidence-boosting conclusion.
“It felt good to not give up 26 goals in one period,” Fleury said.
Now that would be a record.
In all seriousness, though, “The Flower” can be streaky at times. You may remember that people were briefly calling for his head early in the 2010-11 season when he was struggling mightily, only to roll out the plaudits when he helped Pittsburgh power its way to a playoff bid despite losing Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
With all that in mind, do you think Fleury could turn things around? Is it something that the Flyers should be concerned about?
Earlier tonight, I wondered aloud how different last year’s Philadelphia Flyers playoff run might have been if Sergei Bobrovsky’s struggles were handled with even half the patience that Ilya Bryzgalov has received in 2012. After allowing 17 goals in about 11 periods of hockey – including five through about 23 minutes tonight – Bryzgalov was pulled in favor of his lesser-paid Russian backup in the second period.
As you might expect, Bobrovsky isn’t going to change everything for Philly. In fact, he’s already allowed a puck to get by him, as Jordan Staal found the net on a power play to make it 6-3.
That being said, with the way this series has gone, he has a shot at winning the game if he’s perfect – or maybe just close to perfect – for the rest of the contest.
This brings up all kinds of interesting questions. If the Penguins end up winning but Bobrovsky keeps it respectable, should Bob be back in net for that theoretical Game 5? If the Flyers complete a dizzying fourth comeback, how much confidence can Philly really have in Bryzgalov going forward?
It’s a fascinating and developing situation to watch, so check it out on NBC Sports Network as we speak.
Say this about Dan Bylsma — he’s not lacking confidence.
Shortly after his team fell in a gigantic 3-0 series hole to the Philadelphia Flyers, the Pittsburgh Penguins head coach not only back beleaguered starting netminder Marc-Andre Fleury, but also suggested series would be going the distance.
“I know Marc-Andre Fleury will be the guy in the net in our next four games,” he told reporters after Sunday’s 8-4 loss.
It’s a remarkably bold statement from the guy who, an hour earlier, yanked Fleury from the game after he allowed six goals on 28 shots. It was the latest low in what’s been a stunningly poor series for the 27-year-old netminder — all told, Fleury is now 0-6 and has allowed 26 goals in his last six playoff appearances dating back to Game 4 against the Lightning in Round 1 (when he was also pulled by Bylsma.)
Against Philadelphia this year, Fleury has allowed 17 goals on 84 shots in eight periods of action.
Marc-Andre Fleury has had better playoff series in his career. So far his first round series against Philadelphia has been less than memorable, but he may have reached his low point this afternoon.
Pittsburgh was holding a 1-0 lead thanks to a Jordan Staal goal but Maxime Talbot and Sean Couturier were hoping to change that. Boy did they ever as Couturier’s shot was steered away but Talbot so delicately touched the rebound only to see it flutter through Fleury to tie the game at 1-1.
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U-G-L-Y you ain’t got no alibi, that goal is ugly. And soft.