"Not So Mad Monday with @MadChad412 " (Fleury, Maatta, Flyers,) - PensInitiative | Pittsburgh Penguins Blog | Rumors | News

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Monday, October 7, 2013

"Not So Mad Monday with @MadChad412 " (Fleury, Maatta, Flyers,)

Happy Monday everyone! Today's edition of "Mad Monday" with me "Mad" Chad Nolan is going to be a little different. Different in that I'm not really mad about anything involving the Pittsburgh Penguins.The Pens are off to a 2-0 start and have looked really impressive in their first two games of the season. The team looks vastly improved on defense and Marc-Andre Fleury looks to have gotten his mojo back, at least for right now.

So today instead of me ranting in a somewhat formal matter about what I'm angry about, I'm going to vent about what I'm happy about when it comes to the Pens and related topics.

I'm happy about the 2-0 start.

The Pens have outscored their opponents 7-1 in the first two games of the season and are 2-0. That's awesome. It's super early and there really not much to analyze this early on. The Pens look a Hell of a lot better defenisvely, and a lot of that has to do with the 1-3-1 being implemented by new assistant coach Jacques Martin. Rob Scuderi has looked just as good as he did when he was here before and this is without his potential "Norris Trophy finalist" partner Kris Letang.

I"m happy for Marc-Andre Fleury: 

Fleury is off to an amazing start, going 2-0, and earning a shutout in his first start of the season. Right now Fleury has a 0.50 goals-against average with a  .979 save percentage. Fleury also set the franchise record for most consecutive minutes to start a season without allowing a goal, going 115:06 minutes straight. So far so good  and I assumed that Fleury was going to have a big season before the season even started. With the scary news about Tomas Vokoun and him being out for 3-6 months, Fleury has too in order for the Pens to compete for a top seed again.

I'm mad about the Fleury critics already: 

So many people are already saying "Well Fleury's problems are in the playoffs etc etc...". Yes, Fleury won't fully "be back" or avenge his recent playoff failures until he plays well in the playoffs like he did from 2007-2009. Having a save percentage below .900 is completely unacceptable in the postseason, I agree with that. But that shouldn't discredit or devalue Fleury's regular season all together. If he has a Vezina-type season he should be applauded by this fan-base that throws him under the bus so often.

Also, isn't it amazing that Fleury's play has been better with a team playing better defense in front of him. I know that concept is going to go past yinzer's heads but a good defense almost always equals good goaltending unless you just have an absolute scrub in net. Fleury is no scrub, he just won his 250th career win, that's not by coincidence. Fleury was also named the NHL's third star of the week.

I am mad that Olli Maatta might go back to juniors: 

Olli Maatta has been amazingly solid for the Pens so far. He just looks so comfortable for a 19-year old defencman. Scratch that, Maatta looks good for any age. Maatta is too young to play in the AHL this year and unless the Pens decide to keep him for the entire season, he'll end up going back to juniors for the year. I don't think he needs to though. I just have no idea what else Maatta has to learn or improve on in juniors that he can't learn and improve on being on the Pens this year.

Obvioulsy Maatta is getting a big chance right now thanks to Kris Letang being on the IR, but even when Letang comes back I think there's room for Maatta. Personally, I'd put Deryk Engelland on waivers and keep Maatta. There's no way Engelland should be on this roster anymore, especially with guys like Maatta, Simon Despres, and Robert Bortuzzo (who has also impressed me) avaialble. All of those guys bring much more talent to the table than Engelland.

Furthermore, for a good read on Maatta check out this article at PensBurgh http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/10/7/4811988/penguins-olli-maatta-becoming-nhl-ready. They even went as far to compare him to Sergei Gonchar.

This gif is via our friends at PensBurgh.com great Pens website 

Lastly, I'm not mad that the Philadelphia Flyers are in such bad shape already. The Flyers are off to a 0-3 start and have already fired their head coach Peter Laviolette. That deserves nothing but for Pens fans and every hockey fan that can't stand that POS organization. This just gets better and better. Deadspin.com, my favorite sports website was already on top of it and snagged a picture of Laviolette pumping his gas just moments after being let go.


Laviolette is actually a pretty damn good coach and should get work somewhere else. He was just the scapegoat for a franchise that has completely lost it's mind. The Flyers were in the Stanley Cup finals in 2010, losing to the Chicago Blackhawks. For some reason their general manager Paul Holmgren decided to blow up the entire team, starting with trading it's two best forwards, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Carter and Richards both ended up with the Los Angeles Kings and helped the Kings win the Stanley Cup.

Last year Holgren gave Claude Giroux an contract worth $8.275 million per year that runs until the year 2022. Giroux has zero points in three games this year, all losses. Giroux for his career has averaged under .9 points per game, which really isn't worth over $8 mil per season. No wonder that franchise is a mess. As a Pens' fan, here's hoping the Flyers never fire Holmgren.

Of course when the Pens play the Flyers in Philadelphia they'll still chant "Crosby sucks" despite the fact that Crosby has led the league in points per game three times since he's been in the league and Giroux, who some of their fans and media members actually tried to say was better than Crosby, has only finished in the top 10 in points per game once in his career. Yes Flyers please continue to make yourselves a laughing stock.

Flyers make all us go 

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