A Can Of Worms Reopened
Billy Nauman over at The Hockey Writers has reopened the can of worms called “Is Marc-Andre Fleury Elite?”
Now, I suspect most regular readers of this blog know my opinion, and it doesn’t stray too far from Mr. Nauman’s.
Let’s review a few of his statements.
Iâ€™m writing this because Marc-Andre Fleury has been a disappointment throughout his entire career.
Not totally. He had a spectacular season in 2007-08 with a .921 save percentage and led his team to the Cup final. His playoff save percentage was an amazing .933.
However, since then, this statement is totally accurate. He has never since approached those numbers. In the regular season, he’s never had a save percentage over .920. In the postseason, the numbers are downright ugly. He had a .908 save percentage in the Cup year, but has been under .900 every playoff since.
In the NHL right now, there are 48 goalies that have started 100 or more regular season games. And out of that group Fleuryâ€™s career goals against average (2.67) ranks 28th overall. His save percentage (0.909) is even worse at 30th overall.
Those are the numbers. Yeah, you can argue that he plays behind a lousy defensive team since Bylsma took over. That does mitigate the numbers a bit. But plenty of other goalies don’t play for defensive jugggernauts, either. And they end up ahead of him on the list.
He has the same career save percentage and GAA as Dan Ellis.
Yikes, I didn’t realize it was that bad.
In a shortened season like this one, with many more back-to-back games than normal, it makes sense to roll both goaltenders like Bylsma has done so far. But when it comes to crunch time, and Penguins really need a win, itâ€™s obvious that Vokoun should be the #1.
I don’t think it’s obvious. We’ll have to see as the season plays out. But if Vokoun clearly outperforms Feury all season (which I don’t think he’s done yet, BTW), then he should indeed get the call. And Fleury’s playoff leash should be much shorter than it has been up until now.