The Pittsburgh Penguins held an intrasquad scrimmage, Thursday, and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury picked up where he left off last season — by being awful in net.
Granted this was Fleury’s first taste of action in about three months, so chances are he’s a little rusty, but with how badly he performed the team has got to be concerned.
According to Michelle Crechiolo and Sam Kasan of the Pens’ official team website, Pittsburgh scrimmaged two teams titled Team A and Team B, to which Fleury protected for Team A.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound French Canadian had the laborious task of facing their top-line in Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz (who were on Team B); however, Fleury didn’t just self-destruct against them, but he played poorly against the other lines — which shouldn’t have happened.
Craig Adams, Tanner Glass and Joe Vitale skated together for Team B on the second-line, while Tom Kostopoulos, Jayson Megna, and Paul Thompson made up the final line. Their duties in the game are to strengthen the forecheck and stop opposing power plays — not to score.
Adams and Glass, who collected five goals between the regular-season and the postseason for the 2012-13 campaign, got the puck past Fleury on the first two shots he faced — which is unacceptable.
Not only did he surrender two quick ones, he allowed a total of four in one period and three of them were on the first three shots he faced. Reminiscent of the last two postseasons, Fleury performed horrendous.
Albeit there’s no footage to see if the defense was there for Fleury, the mere fact that he gave up three on the first three shot attempts makes you assume that he clearly didn’t fair to well.
And by all means, that’s agonizing to swallow if you’re a Pens’ fan.
Again, we shouldn’t rush to judgments because this was the first on-ice practice of training camp, and things could surely alter for the better in the near future. It’s just frustrating to hear that this was how insufficient he played.
Fleury has a new goaltender coach in Mike Bales — replacing longtime coach Gilles Meloche — so there’s still hope that he’ll get his game straightened up for the 2013-14 campaign.
For his sake, he better, because Pittsburgh’s low on salary cap space and they won’t hesitate to buy him out after the season.