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Old 03-14-2007, 11:24 PM   #1
I.C. Lights
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Default Goalies

A couple questions for hockey experts out there:

1. Do the Pens have a goalie controversy?

2. If so, is it a bad thing like a QB controversy would be in football?

Thanks!

IC
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Goalies

Quote:
Originally Posted by I.C. Lights View Post
A couple questions for hockey experts out there:

1. Do the Pens have a goalie controversy?

2. If so, is it a bad thing like a QB controversy would be in football?

Thanks!

IC
1. No. Fleury is the starter and Thibault is the backup - there is no questioning that. Michel Therrien simply wants good, consistent play in goal, and let's be honest, Fleury hasn't given him that in recent weeks. So Thibault has seen more action as a result, and has played well for the most part. He was very good last night in the shutout of the Devils, in fact. But down the stretch and going into the postseason, Fleury is the man, not to mention the future of the organization in goal. Don't be surprised, though, if Therrien pulls Fleury if he doesn't perform in the playoffs - he has done it before at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Therrien will do whatever he has to in order to win.

2. It's only a bad thing if one or the other takes it personally. In this case, Fleury is used to being called out by Therrien, so therefore he does not take it personally and understands that it's simply a kick in the rear-end to get him focused again. There were rumblings early in the season that Thibault wasn't being happy being a backup and wanted to be a starter, but those have since quieted down, especially since they started their great run. He's been saying the right things in the media and has been a good teammate, helping Fleury when needed while working hard himself to be ready when his number is called.

Hope that answers your questions!
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Old 03-15-2007, 06:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: Goalies

Quote:
Originally Posted by I.C. Lights View Post
A couple questions for hockey experts out there:

1. Do the Pens have a goalie controversy?

2. If so, is it a bad thing like a QB controversy would be in football?

Thanks!

IC
1) Bottomline, Fleury is our starter. On that note I don't believe there is a "controversy", but that's not to say that Therrien is completely comfortable with Fleury. The question is when will Fleury step up and start playing like a starting goalie on a consistent basis? He played excellent against Buffalo. Now let's see how he plays against Montreal. The fact that we have to wonder how he will perform against Montreal is proof that he has not yet arrived and is not playing at the level in which Therrien believes he can play.

Also keep in mind, Therrien made it known back in mid-February that the month of March is crazy when it comes to scheduling and that Thibault will see a good amount of playing time this month. That is what we are seeing right now. Fleury played solid against Buffalo, Therrien rested him against NJ and will start him against Montreal tomorrow night.

2) Look no further than Barrasso and Aubin. From all reports (Aubin being one of them), Barrasso was a complete jerk when it came to helping out Aubin. Barrasso went as far as throwing a fit after one game in which he was pulled. That's when it becomes a problem. With Fleury and Thibault I have heard absolutely nothing negative when it comes to their relationship. Actually, the total opposite.

Since you seem interested, here is a good article on Thibault and how he goes about performing his backup role. Goalie Thibault performs backup role to a T: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07044/761687-61.stm

As for the relationship between Aubin and Barrasso. Here are some examples of when a backup situation goes bad......

"That presumably is a relief to Jean-Sebastien Aubin, the Penguins' unquestioned No. 1 goalie now that Hedberg is hurt, because his relationship with Barrasso was prickly, at best, during their days together."

http://www.post-gazette.com/penguins...09hedberg4.asp

"Aubin, after all, is the guy who, upon realizing his dream of playing in the NHL, found himself partnered with Tom Barrasso, who apparently believed verbally abusing Aubin was a key element in his job description."

http://www.post-gazette.com/penguins/20020315pens3.asp

"If some of Barrasso's ex-teammates hate him, that's understandable. If you weren't a fellow star, his dressing room demeanor was aloof, if not downright nasty. At best, he ignored his goaltending partner. At worst, he terrorized him. Ask Jean-Sebastien Aubin, whom Barrasso once berated for not playing hurt. Kind of ironic, since Aubin was legitimately injured and since Barrasso occasionally wasn't."

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/c...den1215np5.asp

"Near the end of Tom Barrasso's career in Pittsburgh, the PA at Mellon Arena used to play a burst of loud music immediately after each name in the Penguins' starting lineup was announced. Why? So you couldn't hear the spectators boo after Barrasso was introduced.

Make no mistake, Barrasso is a thoroughly detestable human being. Even his friends roll their eyes at mention of his name. He berated young players, his backups, assistant coaches and team employees. The only time Barrasso ever did the media any favors is when he refused to talk to us. When he did deign to grace us with words of wisdom, he was designated a hostile witness by the court."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04108/302172.stm
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Old 03-18-2007, 03:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: Goalies

I already posted this article in the "Pens Tidbits" thread but articles tend to get "lost" in that thread.

IC Lights, here is another good article pertaining to Fleury and Thibault's relationship on and off the ice......

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07077/770449-61.stm
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: Goalies

True, very true.
I dont really think there's any, well...let's say bad blood between the two. Fleury is our starter, and a good one at that. Players have there ups and downs, but that's okay as long as they can play on gameday

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Old 03-18-2007, 09:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Goalies

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True, very true.
I dont really think there's any, well...let's say bad blood between the two. Fleury is our starter, and a good one at that. Players have there ups and downs, but that's okay as long as they can play on gameday

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There isn't any bad blood between Fleury and Thibault - they get along quite well. Thibault knows his role and is always ready to step in if needed or make that start to give Fleury a rest. We have a very good one-two punch in the net and there is no controversy.

However, I do think Thibault might test the open market when his contract is up and I really don't blame him for desiring to start in goal for some team, though I'd love nothing more than if he stayed right here in da Burgh!
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: Goalies

I don't think there is any contreversy,but I do believe that Thibault thinks he is starter-caliber.

DO not be surprised of Thibault eventually requests a trade so he can start somehwere in the NHL.
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Goalies

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I don't think there is any contreversy,but I do believe that Thibault thinks he is starter-caliber.

DO not be surprised of Thibault eventually requests a trade so he can start somehwere in the NHL.
He doesn't have to ask for a trade - his contract is up at the end of the season. And like HTG, I fully expect him to "kick some tires" around the league to see if he can get a starting job. If he can't, then I can see him re-signing here since he's already the established backup and seems to enjoy playing here.
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:43 AM   #9
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He doesn't have to ask for a trade - his contract is up at the end of the season. And like HTG, I fully expect him to "kick some tires" around the league to see if he can get a starting job. If he can't, then I can see him re-signing here since he's already the established backup and seems to enjoy playing here.
Oh,I didn't even realize his contract was up at the end of the year.I hope nobody wants him so he just stays in Da Burgh...but I don't see that happening with how he has played this year.
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:02 AM   #10
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Default Re: Goalies

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Oh,I didn't even realize his contract was up at the end of the year.I hope nobody wants him so he just stays in Da Burgh...but I don't see that happening with how he has played this year.
Looking around the league, there really aren't a whole lot of starting jobs that would be open after this season. Even the bad teams like Phoenix, Columbus and Philadelphia have found solutions in goal, though Phoenix is iffy. Plus, he will have to compete with Evgeni Nabokov, who will almost surely be traded by the Sharks since Vesa Toskala has emerged as the #1 and Nabokov is making a lot of money, money they can then use to try to re-sign Patrick Marleau. The only places he might have a shot would be Los Angeles, Phoenix, Detroit (depending on what Hasek does and if they enter the Nabokov sweepstakes), Florida (if Belfour retires - they are not real high on Alex Auld) and maybe Tampa Bay (I don't think they're sold on Johan Holmqvist or Marc Denis).
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