On Monday, the Pittsburgh Penguins took on one of their new Metropolitan Division rivals, the Carolina Hurricanes. Going into this game, the Penguins have been hit pretty hard by the injury bug. During the first game of the season, Pens All-Star forward James Neal went down with an injury. Pens defensemen Kris Letang just came back from an injury three games ago while shutdown defenseman Rob Scuderi, is now out with a lower body injury.
This makes one man on the team more important than anyone else, and that player is goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The man that his teammates and Pittsburgh fans call “The Flower” has shown some great improvement early on in this young NHL season. Fleury, so far, has not had one of those games that people associate with him: Letting up bad goals at terrible times during the game.
Marc-Andre has shown a certain level of calm and has had a steadiness about him, which is exactly what the Penguins needs while they are trying to ride through this current string of injuries. Fleury is also going to be called upon even more this week with the Penguins playing four games in six days, starting with their game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Sure, Marc-Andre has a few world-class athletes in front of him such as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. Fleury cannot depend on these players and the rest of his team scoring five goals a game. Fleury is going to have to steal a few games during this stretch, which is not impossible for him. When Crosby and Malkin were both injured for the second half of the 2010-11 season, Fleury stood on his head to help the team get into the playoffs without these stars being on the ice with him.
Marc-Andre Fleury seems like he has his game together at the moment. He will have to stay glued, because he will be called upon even more until this injury problem can be resolved. If Fleury wants to show the city of Pittsburgh and it’s fans how much he means to the team, he has his shot to do it right now!