Tag Archives: NHL

What Are You Doing, Sullivan?

Image result for marc-andre fleury free useThe 2016-2017 Pittsburgh Penguins postseason run has been a bumpy ride. The Columbus Blue Jackets battered the Pens throughout the first round and the Washington Capitals, clearly the better team for most of if not all of the series, couldn’t close out Pittsburgh in game seven. The defacto key to both series? Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury outplayed two Vezina winners in Sergei Bobrovsky and Braden Holtby and handedly so. While Bobrovsky struggled to contain the Pens’ blistering offense, Fleury posted save percentages of 97 and 98 in the first two games, stopping 70 of 72. In one of Fleury’s best postseason performances, he thwarted 49 of 51 Columbus rubber pellets in the series-clinching game five win.

In round two, Holtby watched from afar as his teammates peppered the Penguins’ end for seven games and watched with frustration as Fleury continued to bail his teammates out. Holtby, on the other end and with little to do, failed to execute. In the second period of game four, Holtby gave up two goals on four shots. That is laughable and he, more than anyone, cost his team the series.

On the opposite side, we have a goalie that surely stole a series against a superior opponent, including a game seven shutout on the road. Fleury was as much a fluid gymnast in front of the net, contorting his body in every shape and form, as he was a magician, making pucks disappear before hitting twine. He has been the Penguins best player this postseason and is a virtual guarantee to win the Conn Smythe if they win Lord Stanley’s cup. The Penguins’ offense that was first in goals and third on the powerplay during the regular season has been on and off during this year’s run and it hasn’t mattered. Marc-Andre Fleury has been the best postseason goalie. Pekka Rinne is the only other candidate you could even make an argument for.

A goalie is the most integral part to playoff success. Goalies can steal a game or, a la Fleury, a series.

And never in my life have I seen the best postseason goalie in a calendar year get benched. Until today.

In an unprecedented move, coach Mike Sullivan will be starting Matt Murray in tonight’s game four. There’s no logical reasoning for this.

If anything has hampered the Pens during this series, it’s been the team’s inability to score. The Pens should have won game one, but went 0/5 on the powerplay, an ongoing problem. Injuries knocked Bryan Rust and Justin Schultz out of game two and there’s no timetable for their return. In three games, the once mighty Pittsburgh offense has scored three goals. The defense that has played quite well without headmaster Kris Letang completely flopped in game three, to an embarrassing level. Only one of the goals scored on Fleury on Wednesday could be attributed to him. The utter incompetence of the Pens defensemen that game was the singularity of that trainwreck and everyone who watched that game knows that.

Except Mike Sullivan. Mike Sullivan appears concerned with how to allow less goals rather than score more than one. That is the only rationale I can come up with at this point.

Look, Mike Sullivan is a wizard. I love him and he’s already on his way to being one of the best coaches in franchise history. Of all the issues this team currently has in front of them, goaltending has been the least of them. It has been since day one. It still is. Patrick Roy could have played goal for the Pens on Wednesday. It would not have changed the outcome.

So, to bench Fleury, your best player this postseason run, because of a historically bad period from your defense, makes not even a minute of sense. Matt Murray has always been Sullivan’s favorite and that will most likely never change, but head coaches are not afforded the graces of favoritism. One goalie has played the best postseason of his career. The other hasn’t played a full game since April 6. It doesn’t take a genius to figure this one out.

On the other hand, Sullivan is a genius and even he couldn’t figure out this “conundrum.”

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pens Have Important Decision to Make: Vokoun vs. Fleury

Marc-Andre Fleury Saves the Day

Marc-Andre Fleury Saves the Day (Photo credit: wstera2)

Vokoun Looking Toward Corner

Vokoun Looking Toward Corner (Photo credit: clydeorama)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I haven’t been following hockey this year because I’m mad at the NHL for locking out again, as well as them failing to recognize that it’s not all about the money, so I’m on a hiatus until the next full season starts in October.

However, I have seen which teams are winning and the most recent news and the Pittsburgh Penguins have played fantastic, and that with starting goalie Marc Andre Fleury sitting on the bench and backup Tomas Vokoun between the pipes, who has played as if he’s a starter.

Vokoun’s play is most certainly something to be admired because of his age and because of his backup status, but it has caused a problem that I feel many people are overlooking. Naturally, the goal of every season is to win the Stanley Cup, but the problem I am referring to is one that could arise in the future. Fleury has been on the bench for the last seven or so games, which is understandable after his hard-to-watch performances. Something that I’ve thought though is will they give Fleury a secondhand chance. Obviously Vokoun is the hot hand and I understand why he’s started so many games, but if the Pens win the Stanley Cup and they do so with Vokoun and not Fleury, how is Fleury going to feel, knowing that he, the starting goalie, sat on the bench during a Stanley Cup run where the Penguins All-Star roster ran over opponents like a freight train? I don’t know about you, but if my team won the Stanley Cup and me, a starting goalie, didn’t get to be a part of it, I’d be pretty mad and might even consider leaving. Now I’m not saying Fleury would do that, but I’m saying it doesn’t sound like an insane proposition if you really think about it.

Vokoun’s 36 years old, meaning he probably has three years max left in the tank, and Fleury is this team’s future, isn’t he? You need to have an elite goalie between the pipes if you’re going to win the Stanley Cup and for the most part that even goes for teams that are incredible offensively and defensively. In football, defense wins championships, or so they say. For me, goalies win championships in hockey. They are the most important part of the defense, for me the equivalent of a quarterback in football. It won’t matter if you have Brett Hull, Wayne Gretzky, and Mario Lemieux all on the same team. If you have one of the worst goalies in the league on your team filled with All-Stars, I’d say the chances of you winning go down a lot. Is it possible to win a Cup without an elite goalie? Yes, but is it probable? No, I’d say it’s not.

For me, I’d say give Fleury the start Game One. If he plays bad, bench him for the rest of the playoffs as long as Vokoun is healthy to go. That way, if he leaves even after you gave him a second chance, you know that you did your best to appease him and you can move on with no regrets.

As Robby Baker of bleacherreport.com said,

Looking forward, the Penguins will have a tough decision to make. According to CapGeek, Fleury will have a $5 million cap hit next year. Shero will have to manage his money carefully as he looks to re-sign key players such as Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke, Craig Adams, Tyler Kennedy and Jarome Iginla.

I’d encourage you to read the full article, which you can do by clicking here, because he discusses the same thing I’m talking about with more detail since I haven’t been following much hockey this spring.

So, the Pens have an important decision to make: Is winning the Stanley Cup your number one goal or do you want to preserve your future as well?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,
CCY's Movie Reviews

Movies Worth Sharing!

Days Gone

Meeting the insanity that is reality

epileptic moondancer

Imperfection is Perfection.

vinnieh

Movie reviews and anything else that comes to mind

emmakwall (explains it all)

Film & soundtrack reviews, good humour and lists

pickoftheflix

EMPIRE'S 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME REVIEWED - to watch or not to watch?

Shit Jon Gruden Says

"Spider 2 Y Banana Shake?"

kylerehm005

I will show the world( or whoever reads this) my passion for movies, sports, life and Jesus

ramblingsofsam

A place for sharing, fleshing out, and fine-tuning thoughts and ideas

Mr. Movie's Film Blog

Film and Anime Reviews, new and older releases!

Thomas J

My Journey Through Film

Snap Crackle Watch!

A blog dedicated to television and movies

The Cinema Monster

unparalleled film reviews, news, and top 10s

Silver Screen Serenade

Praising the high notes and lamenting the low notes of all things film and television

Cinema Parrot Disco

Musings on Mainly Movies from a Table 9 Mutant

wordsofwistim

For those searching for wistim regarding life, sports, movies and more