21 April 2012

MvsW #0106 QoD

Marek vs Wyshynski #0106 (Apr 17, 2012) Question of the Day:
Who is the biggest "MIA" player so far in the playoffs?

I have never in my life seen a performance as bad as the one Marc-Andre Fleury put in for the first several games of the PIT/PHI series.  The only thing that might be close is the time I had to fill in as goalie for my rec league team, and nearly (but not quite!) blew an 8 (!!!) goal lead while my team simultaneously almost had to forfeit for not having enough eligible players after several ejections and penalties.  Of course, picking on a goalie who is rocking a 0.837 SV% after having bounced back with two decent games is easy - it's like shooting fish in a barrel, stealing candy from a baby, or taking shots on Marc-Andre Fleury!

I am extremely happy at the number of people who've taken MAF's struggles this series so far to point out the fact that he's never been that good.  The guy has never been much more than a league-average goalie, but because he plays on a good team in a bad conference, and gets a lot of national TV coverage, he has a completely bogus reputation for "clutchness" or frequently considered some sort of great goalie.  As I recall, Fleury's rebound troubles this playoff are nothing new, being something that he has struggled off and on with throughout his career, though I thought he'd more or less turned the corner on that.

All of that said, I eagerly look forward to 2-3 years down the road when he turns in some more average or sub-average playoff performances but is dragged by his teammates on another long Penguins run, and the narrative is once again that Fleury is a "money" or "clutch" type of goalie.

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