A lot of people that criticize the Pittsburgh Penguins and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury cite their lack of consistency, especially in high pressure situations.
But I’d disagree. The Penguins and Fleury do a lot of things consistently, like fail to hold a lead in the playoffs, or a give up a backbreaking goal when the game is tied, when the team can ill-afford it the most.
This is what has become of the Pens. Instead of learning from their mistakes year after year and coming back better, the Penguins remain ignorant to their own shortcomings, letting the same things come back to haunt them again and again.
Let’s start with Fleury. This one stings, I mean REALLY stings. For a guy that had been playing pretty well for the most part to make another bone-head play and concede the game like that just kills you.
Had being the key word there. Fleury had been good, even great at times.
None of that matters now. Once again, MAF choked when the Pens needed him the most. Now, the Jackets are in his head.
This is no longer a Pittsburgh vs. Columbus series. This is a Marc-Andre Fleury series, and that doesn’t bode well for the Black and Gold.
Speaking of which, let’s not neglect the fact that there’s 20 other guys on the roster, not just Fleury.
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have yet to record a goal, James Neal continues to take stupid penalties, and word has it even Cronkite is going to say that the war is now un-winnable (look it up).
The bottom line is this: The Penguins had a three goal lead and all the momentum in the world after one period in this game and couldn’t seal the deal.
The Penguins let Columbus back into this game, registering just 13 shots in the final two periods. This and this alone is the most alarming takeaway from this loss.
Even if the Penguins sneak by and win the series, they certainly haven’t done much to instill confidence in themselves going forward.