Marc-Andre Fleury Could Be Exhausted


The Pittsburgh Penguins have shown they are not afraid to ride starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury through the regular season. However, if his recent play has been any indication of his mental and physical state, it might be time to rest him before the playoffs start in about a month. 

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Marc-Andre Fleury has proven to be a workhorse throughout his 11 year career as he averages just over 55 games played per regular season. This high number is despite only playing 21 games during his rookie season. Without his first season, Marc-Andre Fleury on averages plays 59 games per season.

This year has been no exception as Fleury has played in 54 games wearing the Penguins sweater. Currently, Marc-Andre Fleury is on pace to play 64 games. This would not be a career high for Fleury, but there is one thing management has not considered. Marc-Andre Fleury is now 30 years old and has played in over 580 regular season games.

Presently, Fleury is among league leaders in every notable goaltender metric. His statistics look like this: 54 games played in, 31-15-7, .922 save percentage, 2.23 GAA and a league leading (and franchise record) 9 shutouts.

Despite his age, Fleury is enjoying a career season and has been unquestionably the Pittsburgh Penguins MVP. The problem is that in his last two starts Marc-Andre Fleury has allowed 8 goals in just 87.44 minutes of icetime. His save percentage over that period of time has been an uncharacteristic .822%.

So what does this mean? Simply, Marc-Andre Fleury’s workload needs to be reduced as the playoffs are rapidly are approaching. Maybe these last two games have been a fluke and Fleury is just having a bad stretch, but given his age, workload and known issues with mental consistency he needs some time off.

Mar 14, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Thomas Greiss (1) reaches for the puck against Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center.Boston won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The only problem is that the Pittsburgh Penguins are fighting for

playoff seeding

a playoff sport to be frank and sitting your best goaltender is not what you need in this situation.

Thomas Greiss has shown time and time again he is also wildly inconsistent and cannot be relied upon in big moments. The only options the Penguins have are bringing a goaltender up from the WBS Penguins, but realistically that will not happen.

If it means dealing with Thomas Griess’ spotty play, I think the Pittsburgh Penguins need to rely upon him heavily in their remaining 13 games. As long as the Pittsburgh Penguins make the playoffs, they have a chance to win the cup.

Bottom line: rest Marc-Andre Fleury now and let him recover for what could be a long playoff run.

Next: Can the Penguins rely upon Thomas Griess?

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