Marc-Andre Fleury to Shoulder the Load by @PandaPSU - PensInitiative | Pittsburgh Penguins Blog | Rumors | News

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Marc-Andre Fleury to Shoulder the Load by @PandaPSU




The start of the Penguins season is 10 days away, and there are certainly a lot of questions that remain unanswered. The purpose of training camp and the preseason significantly increased when the Penguins essentially cleaned house over the summer and brought in a new coaching staff and many new front office positions. This is the time for players to start gelling with the new staff and vice versa. Things haven't exactly been smooth so far at Consol Energy Center, and that puts a lot of the burden on one man -- Marc-Andre Fleury.



(Mike Johnston during development camp - Photo Courtesy of pittsburghpenguins.com)
Here is a brief snapshot of some of the larger events that have transpired so far in training camp:

-Sidney Crosby missed the first four days of camp with a minor injury.
 
-Chris Kunitz missed the first four days of camp with a minor injury.
 
-Pascal Dupuis had light drills for the first week of camp.
  
-Olli Maatta is returning from shoulder surgery and is ahead of schedule, but hasn't played a game yet.
 
-Robert Bortuzzo is day-to-day after a hit into the boards on Thursday.
 
-Beau Bennett is out 6 weeks with a leg injury.
 
-Maybe most importantly, Evgeni Malkin is still nowhere to be seen.

There is no doubt the Penguins are being extremely cautious with their star players. Fans don't need to look too far with players like Jordan Staal, Derek Stepan, and Pavel Datsyuk missing significant time from injuries suffered in the preseason, so it is not a surprise the organization is proceeding with caution. That being said, it does not help the fact that the team still needs ice time together to develop that chemistry.


I will not be shocked if the Penguins look out of sorts for the first month or so of the season. I honestly feel like it will take that long to develop the right line combinations, have people back to 100% from injuries, etc. That means that Fleury will be called upon to shoulder the load in the early part of this season. He will be the one that can erase any mistakes in front of him. The biggest question is - can he do it? Here are a couple of photos to give the readers my response:
 
(Fluery stops Ovechkin in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals - Photo Courtesy of the WashingtonPost.com)




 

 









 

 
(Fleury stops Lidstrom in final seconds of the Stanley Cup Final - Photo Courtesy of pittsburghpenguins.com)





 


As seen above, Fleury has always shown flashes of brilliance and greatness. He can put together a beautiful 60 minute game with a few top ten saves, and then be pulled in his next outing. He will need to find a way to string together a solid 15-20 games to start the season and let the rest of the team catch up from the injury bug and the new system. I gave my prediction for Fleury on Pens Initiative last week. I think Fleury has a huge season in a contract year for him, and I think the team can rely on him during this opening stretch.
 

What do you all think? Hit me up on Twitter @PandaPSU or leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. He can and and will, despite all the inevitable Haters. GO PENS!!!

    ReplyDelete

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