You never know what you’re going to get when Pittsburgh Penguins’ goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury hits the ice, but it’s almost inevitable that he’ll let in the most peculiar goal at some point throughout the game.
Fleury, who’s a master at being a butterfly-type goaltender, will always somehow, someway, surrender a goal that’s impossible to fathom.
It all started to become prevalent during the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals, in which Fleury failed to secure a shot off the stick of Red Wings’ forward Henrik Zetterberg during Game 6. Unable to locate the puck, Fleury laid on his back and the biscuit slid off his buttocks and into the net – a sequence that could happen to any goalie, but fans’ would soon notice a trend developing.
After various other incidents where Fleury allowed an awkward goal in, we fast forward to the 2012 NHL Playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers. Not only were the Flyers’ averaging 4.33 goals-per-game, but Fleury was at it again, giving up a number of laughable tallies.
Bypassing the Game 1 and Game 2 meltdowns to Game 3, Fleury let a terrible backhand shot from former cup-hero Maxime Talbot sneak by. A weak dribbler staring Fleury right in his face, somehow managed to bounce under his arm and into the back of the net. And during that same contest, he also failed to corral a shot from Flyers’ forward Matt Read, which miraculously got through Fleury’s barricade.
We enter the debacle in the last postseason against the New York Islanders, where Fleury’s antics almost cost the team a first-round knockout.
This series was probably Fleury’s claim to fame with these uncharacteristic tallies. Without having to go through every embarrassing goal, Fleury let a numerous amount of pucks bounce off his backside and into the net. On most occasions, the goals were also either game-tying ones, or game-winning tallies.
Perhaps one of the most pitiful goals, however, was when Fleury let Isles’ forward Casey Cizikas one-hand a lazy shot past his goal-crease and in, for what would be the Game 4 sealer. And it was that game where Fleury would go on to lose his starting gig to backup netminder Tomas Vokoun.
Despite playing a sound game so far this season, Fleury will still find a way to let-in a bad goal. He’s fixed a lot of issues, mostly mentally, and a lot of that has to do with coach Mike Bales’ tutelage. But for the life of me, I can’t even believe what I’m seeing when Fleury can’t handle a shot that’s directly at him.
Even in last night’s matchup with the Islanders, Fleury allowed a puck to go off him and trickle into the net. So maybe, if Fleury learn’s how to stretch behind him as good as he does east-to-west, the bizarro-goals will start to vanish.
Like I said, Fleury is performing exceptionally well this season – it’s just funny to witness some of goals scored against him.