Does Pittsburgh Penguins Success Depend on Marc-Andre Fleury?

By Greg Higgins
Marc-Andre Fleury
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Much of the talk around Pittsburgh right now is related to the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Pirates are in the MLB playoffs for the first time in over 20 years while the Steelers are sitting at the bottom of the AFC North division. Meanwhile the Pittsburgh Penguins have started the season 2-0 with wins over the New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres.

Much of the talk about this team is with the offense and scoring. When you have Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on your team you expect to score goals. The big question mark, though, was on the defensive side – mainly at the goalie position. Marc-Andre Fleury is starting at goal this season in place of the injured Tomas Vokoun. Many people wondered how he would do after last season’s benching during the postseason.

Fleury was sat down during the series with the New York Islanders in favor of backup Vokoun. So far, Fleury has answered the bell as he has only allowed one goal in 120 minutes of hockey. The one goal came just under five minutes left in game two against the Sabres also.

The Penguins are going to score points and they are going to probably score enough to win a lot of games this season. However, they are going to need Fleury to step it up when it matters most-especially since there’s no timetable set for Vokoun’s return. This means Fleury may have to step it up in the playoffs again. For his career, Fleury hasn’t been as good in the playoffs. He is allowing 2.65 goals against during the regular season and 2.73 during the playoffs. His save percentage is .910 during the regular season as opposed to .903 during the playoffs. If the Penguins want to get back to the Finals this year and compete for the Stanley Cup, Fleury is going to be the key piece in getting them there.

Greg Higgins is an NHL contributor for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter: @greghiggins457, Like him on Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.


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