The trials and tribulations for the Penguins Marc Andre Fleury just got even more intense. As we know, the Pittsburgh Penguins shunned Fleury, pulling him from the postseason, questioning his mental toughness, and pretty much wiping away any confidence they had in him. To cement that point, the Pittsburgh Penguins also selected the highly touted goaltender in, Tristan Jarry with their first pick in the 2013 NHL draft.
Penguins General Manager, Ray Shero is going through great lengths to rebuild Fleury’s mental game. Shero continues to call Fleury their franchise goalie heading into next season which continues to raise eyebrows in Pittsburgh and around the league. Fleury will be getting a new goalie coach this year after watching Giles Meloche become the, “odd man out” after 27 years. The Pens also convinced Fleury to see a sports psychologist this summer which he is in the process of doing now.
However, if there was any pipe dream that people outside of Pittsburgh still view Fleury as elite was shattered Monday when he was left off Team Canada’s Olympic tryout list. This is a huge dagger to Fleury and should be a wake up call as your homeland of Canada just shunned you in favor of five other goaltenders, including Braden Holtby. Aside from cup winner, Corey Crawford who had a backup goalie this year go 17-1 in support of him doesn’t exactly have the best resume either. Holtby had a solid season this year for the Capitals. However, he doesn’t have much of a track record and the last time we saw him in action, he looked like Swiss Cheese in game 7 against the Rangers. Carey Price hasn’t won a playoff series since 2008 and this year at times looked like a turtle on his back.
Three years ago, Team Canada won the gold medal and Roberto Luongo had nothing to do with it except get out of the way. Luongo has also fallen on hard times, his save percentage this season tied for 28th, which would be outstanding if the NHL had 100 teams. Mike Smith is a loose cannon, he has shown flashes of greatness but he has also shown he can be flat out awful. Smith has played in 19 playoff games in his career and his save percentage this year was ranked 22nd.
The writing is on the wall for Marc Andre Fleury to get his mind right and reclaim his status as elite . When you consider he just watched his team lose a series having no say in the decision for the second time in four years has to be hard to swallow.
Furthermore, to get shunned for the Olympics for guys like Holtby and Smith has to be serious motivation for Fleury.
Quite honestly, if it isn’t, nothing will be.