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NHL Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins’ Marc-Andre Fleury Interview with Mark Madden

Charles LeClaire – USA TODAY Sports

Mark Madden of 105.9 The X interviewed Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury, late yesterday afternoon on his radio show.  The following is a summary of that interview:

Madden started off by asking Fleury about the rumor floating around yesterday that a few of the Penguins players were involved in a snowball battle after practice, but Fleury denied it to be true saying that they didn’t have time for one and that they’ll hopefully be able to get one in soon.

During last Thursday’s game against the Washington Capitals, Fleury’s mask got knocked off and Madden asked him why he decided to take it off.  In Fleury’s fun-loving way, he jokingly answered that the guys dared him to stop the puck with his teeth but later confirmed that defenseman Brooks Orpik‘s stick took it off when they got tangled up.

Madden asked Fleury if he was happy with his play and if he thought he was doing well to which he answer that the more goals he faces, the better he feels and that practice is not the same (as an NHL hockey game), so its always good and he feels better to get some games under his belt.  There’s no substitute for a real hockey game which is what he was worried most about during the lockout (when they started the season) because there was not any pre-season games or extended training camp.  During the lockout, Fleury said he was home for a while where he had his trainer and skated with a few guys from Quebec.

Fleury has been battling the puck well when guys crowd him around the net; he’s battled through it.  Madden asked if he thought he was getting better at it.  Fleury explained that he’s getting experience with time and he’s learning not to over-battle or take himself out of the play (there’s a fine line).

Madden asked Fleury about the following players and here’s what he had to say:

Tomas Vokoun: he helps Fleury get more rest time; he’s a great goalie and Fleury respects him a lot; he’s already won some games for the team;

Martin Brodeur: Fleury looks up to him and says that its always special for him to step on the ice with Brodeur; he’s been good for so many years and still is — he’s a good role model for him;

Simon Despres:  feels he’s doing a great job especially playing with Letang; gets puck out of zone really quick and he already has a couple goals; stated that the Penguins, as a group, have been doing a great job the last few weeks;

Orpik and Paul Martin (as shutdown defensive pair):  agreed that the two are definitely doing well and that they are very solid, very calm and steady every night.

On a personal note, Fleury married his longtime girlfriend, Veronique LaRosee, this past July and the couple is expecting their first child this coming April.

Today will be Fleury’s third consecutive start in net for the Penguins and he told Madden that he’s looking forward to getting in the groove again and that playing games helps him fell more and more comfortable.  Madden also brought up the possibility of his being tired in last season’s playoffs and asked if he thought he may have played too much.  Fleury told him that he’s not looking for any excuses and that he went int trying his best; he reiterated that he was not trying to look for any excuses.

Fleury and the Penguins will be going head-to-head today against Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils this afternoon at 1:00 pm (est).  The game will be broadcast locally on ROOT Sports – Pittsburgh.

Stephanie Lewark is a featured Pittsburgh Penguins columnist for RantSports.com. If you enjoy her posts, you can follow her on Twitter (@steelcitysports), check out her personal Facebook page (via Networked Blogs), visit her Tumblr page, or add her to your Google+ circle.