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Marc-Andre Fleury dismal in Penguins’ loss

Erik Karlsson, Marc Andre Fleury

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, left, can’t make the save on a goal by Ottawa Senators’ Erik Karlsson (65) in the second period of a first-round NHL playoff hockey game in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, April 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


There’s no doubt in my mind that the Penguins’ ugly 5-4 loss to the Senators can be placed on Marc-Andre Fleury’s shoulders. Sure, the team didn’t look particularly sharp, but Fleury allowed hare brained goal after hare brained goal, castrating Pittsburgh’s spirits and letting a similarly unimpressive Brian Elliott off the hook. As Brandon said, Fleury’s rebound control was horrendous. It’s not as if Ottawa’s superstars controlled the game, either; the Senators benefited from a goal each from Chris Neil, Chris Kelly and Jarkko Ruutu.

I hate to say it, but while this was an unusually bad performance by Fleury, the goals he allowed seemed all-too-familiar. The 2003 No. 1 overall pick gave up some awful goals against the Red Wings early in the Stanley Cup Finals (two words: Justin Abdelkader) and belched out a few embarrassing early goals in the epic Capitals series to boot.

It’s funny how a Stanley Cup can heal all wounds, because Fleury wasn’t nearly as sharp in 08-09 (90.8% save percentage and a 2.67 GAA) as he was in 07-08 (93.3% save percentage and a 1.97 GAA). I’m not saying he was (or is) horrible, he’s just a notch - or a few notches - below “elite.”

Whatever way you slice it, the Penguins need a better performance from their franchise goalie.