Among Pittsburgh Penguins fans, the word ‘trust’ never is in the same sentence as Marc-Andre Fleury. At least not since the 2009 Stanley Cup Champion team hoisted the holy grail in Detroit.
Since that storied playoff run, Fleury has been anything but stellar. He is known for tremendous regular season successes only to be a complete letdown in the postseason.
This article is not an article that is defending Fleury’s play in the past. After all, how could anyone do that? No, this is simply a plea to Penguins fans everywhere to learn to trust the goaltender that not only is leading the NHL in wins but is the main man in terms of goaltending for the Pens this season.
Gone for the foreseeable future is Tomas Vokoun, the safety net in case Fleury implodes like he has in the past, and suddenly the team is placing all its hopes and trust solely on that No. 29 sweater that stands between the pipes. If you ask me, Vokoun’s departure might have been the best thing for the Penguins netminder.
Jeff Zatkoff is a capable backup, but he is not someone who will unseat Fleury or even threaten to take more playing time away from him than his usual day off here or there. Vokoun had the look of a starter, and he would prove his worth throughout the season and all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals last season.
The pressure on a starting goaltender is significant without any being added, but with Vokoun out of the lineup Fleury knows this is his show. That along with a healthy new mindset has the goaltender playing stellar hockey through the halfway point of the season.
To this point, Fleury is leading the league with 25 wins, is in the top 10 in Goals Against Average (GAA) with 2.27 and although his save percentage is lower than most would want, he has a sparkling 1.00 save percentage in shootouts. Plain and simple, Fleury is the best shootout goalie in hockey and don’t think that isn’t important.
Fleury is playing some of his best hockey, and it is time for the Penguins fans to put the past behind them and embrace their goaltender for this season looking forward. You can talk about playoff failures all you want, but Penguins fans know that Fleury is capable of winning the cup. He has done it before. Just remember, in Marc Andre Fleury we trust.