Fleury ended his inaugural Cup finals experience by pushing Zetterberg’s Stanley Cup-winning goal into the net with his backside.
“He sits and scores,” Penguins Hall of Fame play-by-play man Mike Lange could have bellowed.
Fleury’s hind quarters were at it again in the opener this spring. In Game 1, Brad Stuart’s goal came off the back boards, hit Fleury in the butt and slid into the cage. Later in the same game, Johan Franzen’s flip shot from behind the goal line banked into the net off of Fleury’s leg pad.
Since then, he’s played better, but no one is mistaking Fleury for Patrick Roy.
They’d better start soon, or they’ll be planning yet another parade in Hockeytown.
They pay goalies the big bucks to win big games. Fleury has yet to win one in this series, but you can argue he lost Game 1.
While Fleury’s been the focus of the faux pas, at the other end, Detroit’s Chris Osgood, the guy the hockey world refuses to embrace, is on the brink of collecting his fourth Stanley Cup ring. He posted his 15th career playoff shutout in Game 5.
The Penguins are certain that the man they call the Flower won’t wilt with the Cup on the line, even though he was shoveled under in Game 5.
“He’s been through a lot in his career,” said Talbot, one of Fleury’s closest friends. “He’s got a great character. I’m sure he’s going to be ready for the next game.”
Talbot planned to take his pal aside and give him a pep talk, just in case.
“We'll chit chat,” Talbot said. “He'll try to forget about it. He can't be too hard on himself. He had some pretty bad breaks out there, so just forget about it.”
A goalie’s job is to make the saves they should make. But in the playoffs, the job description changes, especially in times of crisis like the one currently facing the Penguins.
Goalies make their reputation in the Stanley Cup finals. Currently, Fleury’s reputation, much like that of the Penguins, is one in flux.
We don’t know which way it’s going to go for him.
To survive, the Penguins know which it must go.
“We need him to bounce back next game,” Crosby said. “We need everybody back, including him.”
To keep the Penguins alive, being good simply won’t be good enough.
Fleury will need his finest hour.
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