Sport Gene Collier: Penguins will start Marc-Andre Fleury in goal Friday

19:10  19 may  2017
19:10  19 may  2017 Source:   Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Fleury or Murray? Sullivan keeps quiet on goalie situation

  Fleury or Murray? Sullivan keeps quiet on goalie situation Mike Sullivan isn't any hurry to announce who will start in goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins in Friday's critical Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against Ottawa. The defending Stanley Cup champions have relied heavily on Marc-Andre Fleury during their run to the NHL's final four, but he faltered in Game 3, allowing four goals in just over 13 minutes before being pulled for Matt Murray in a 5-1 loss that gave the Senators a 2-1 lead in the series.Sullivan doesn't plan on naming a starter until after his team's skate on Friday morning.''I've said all along, we have two great goalies,'' Sullivan said Thursday.

But Penguins coach Mike Sullivan might have the Flower on a shorter leash in Game 4 with Matt Murray waiting in the wings to step in. Friday , May 19, 2017 1:09AM |.

Marc - Andre Fleury . Pittsburgh Penguins . Fleury will start Friday vs. the Islanders. Fleury allowed two goals on 42 shots in the Penguins ’ win in Edmonton on Friday . Fleury has been great in his last two starts , winning both while stopping 68 of 70 shots (.971 SV%).

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury watches from the end of the bench after being pulled from Wednesday's 5-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators.© Peter Diana/Post-Gazette Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury watches from the end of the bench after being pulled from Wednesday's 5-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators.

OTTAWA, Ontario — Of the 20 Penguins who will dress for Game 4 Friday night, I would guess a distinguished dozen or more live in houses in which the pantry closet is larger than the home locker room at the practice rink this week — the cozy, fragrant den of the University of Ottawa fighting Gee Gees.

A Gee Gee is a slang term for a racehorse, and the University adopted as its colors Garnet and Gray to play off the twin G’s, probably because Green and Gold was too easy. Why it adopted the Gee Gees as the mascot in the first place is a longer, even-less-interesting story dating to the 16th century, but I have it on reasonable authority that it wasn’t because Bee Gees was taken.

Fleury or Murray? Sullivan keeps quiet on goalie situation

  Fleury or Murray? Sullivan keeps quiet on goalie situation Mike Sullivan isn't any hurry to announce who will start in goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins in Friday's critical Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against Ottawa. The defending Stanley Cup champions have relied heavily on Marc-Andre Fleury during their run to the NHL's final four, but he faltered in Game 3, allowing four goals in just over 13 minutes before being pulled for Matt Murray in a 5-1 loss that gave the Senators a 2-1 lead in the series.Sullivan doesn't plan on naming a starter until after his team's skate on Friday morning.''I've said all along, we have two great goalies,'' Sullivan said Thursday.

Penguins goalies Matt Murray (left) and Marc - Andre Fleury look at the scoreboard during the first period of Game 4 against the Washington Capitals on May 4 at Consol Energy Center. By Gene Collier / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Much as I’m loath to make an issue where none really exists (snort)

Marc - Andre Fleury . Pittsburgh Penguins . Fleury will start Thursday vs. the Stars. Fleury allowed six goals on 36 shots in the Penguins ’ loss in Minnesota last Friday . With Matt Murray losing last night, Fleury will go tonight, but it has been a struggle for him as of late.

It’s a quirky little backdrop in which to have your Stanley Cup title defense hanging in the balance, and the spectacle of Stanley Cup-winning goaltenders Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray standing six feet from each other with 60 or so hockey journalists between them Thursday seemed to goose the drama considerably.

“Even if I [had been told], I wouldn’t tell you,” said Murray on the question that was the elephant in a room better suited to, at most, two housecats.

But then, Murray didn’t have to tell us who’ll start in goal for Game 4; it’ll be Fleury, who has started every game of this postseason. That’s unless I’m misreading the 100 or so other indicators.

I know, what are the odds?

Head coach Mike Sullivan yanked Fleury out of Game 3 when four of the Ottawa Senators’ first nine shots hit nothing but net (OK, maybe the odd shin pad or skate, too), and Murray mopped up a 5-1 pie in the face that left the Penguins in the uncomfortable position of having suddenly dropped four of its past six playoff games. That in what had begun to resemble a charmed postseason.

Twitter reacts to Big Ben's odd expression at Penguins game

  Twitter reacts to Big Ben's odd expression at Penguins game Ben Roethlisberger was in attendance Monday night at PPG Paints Arena for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ showdown with the Ottawa Senators in Game 2 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals. Ben Roethlisberger was in attendance Monday night at PPG Paints Arena for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ showdown with the Ottawa Senators in Game 2 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals. And footage of the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback in the stands led to some pretty funny jokes on Twitter.

Marc - Andre Fleury . G | Pittsburgh Penguins . ADP 86.40. Sidney Crosby's 50th career playoff goal and second straight strong start by goalie Marc - Andre Fleury put Pens up 2-0 before series swings to Columbus.

Two- Start Pitchers. Roster Trends. Penguins ' Marc - Andre Fleury : Roasted for five goals in Game 6. 1D ago • By RotoWire Staff.

Sullivan officially was noncommittal on the identity of his starting netminder Friday night, but he was instructive on the question of whether he’d be starting Fleury out of some sense of loyalty to the beloved Flower.

“I think we have loyalty to our whole group; I don’t think it’s to any one particular guy,” Sullivan said near the ice surface after a practice of less than 45 minutes. “This is a team, and it’s a team in the true sense of the word, so are we appreciative of the contributions that all our guys make — Marc-Andre included? Yes, absolutely. We wouldn’t be to the point where we’re at without these guys. Any of them.

“So that’s how we look at it; I think we have loyalty to our whole team.”

General manager Jim Rutherford, the old netminder himself, had watched a slightly goalie-centric practice from a standing position between the sixth row of seats and the seventh and last row of seats. Murray and Fleury and even backup backup Tristan Jarry were on the ice — and wait, is that Jeff Zatkoff?

NHL playoffs: Matt Murray to start in goal for Penguins in Game 4

  NHL playoffs: Matt Murray to start in goal for Penguins in Game 4 Matt Murray will draw the start in goal Friday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins, down 2-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals, play the Senators in Ottawa.Coach Mike Sullivan confirmed the move after Murray was the first goalie off the ice at the Penguins' morning skate, according to the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review, a typical indication of a team’s starter for the night's game.

Marc - Andre Fleury gives up a goal Sunday night. However, if I was the coach, I would start Marc - Andre Fleury in Game 6 for all the reasons Sullivan and company gave for playing him in Game 5. Gene Collier : Two losses in row come at a bad time for Penguins .

Penguins goalie Marc - Andre Fleury allowed five goals on 26 shots on home ice during Monday night's 5-2 loss to the Washington Capitals in the sixth game of their Second Round playoff series. Marc - Andre Fleury gets the start in Game 7 May 10 - 7:21 PM.

But here on the campus of the largest university in Ottawa, which just happens to be the most educated city in all Canada, Rutherford and Sullivan and goaltenders coach Mike Bales, in colloquy with additional consultants, were all trying to make an educated guess on the immediate ramifications of Fleury vs. Murray.

It’s entirely possible the urgent conversations predated the practice, and the decision as well. The announcement was probably delayed to make the Senators mull it for as long as possible.

All parties seemed sworn to the pretense of indecision.

“I don’t know yet,” said Fleury. “[Sullivan] hasn’t spoken about it.”

For his part, Fleury seemed completely unaffected by being run off by the Senators, both during a playful practice and in the tiny locker room. He stood smiling near his locker, his hands folded calmly at his waist, fingers interlaced.

“It’s not going to go 16 games in a row perfectly,” he said of his heretofore sensational postseason. “So I put that one behind already, and I’m ready to go.”

You can’t persuade me, at least for the moment, that Sullivan is going to sit Fleury for one bad period when he’s getting multiple dreadful efforts over stretches of multiple periods from just about everybody else, all of it wilting the Flower. If Fleury sits tonight, a lot of his most vocal supporters among the veterans — Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, and more —– are going to be either moderately confused or sorely hissed off.

NHL playoffs: Fleury's early exit leaves Penguins coach Mike Sullivan with tough call

  NHL playoffs: Fleury's early exit leaves Penguins coach Mike Sullivan with tough call <p>The Penguins were embarrassed 5-1 by the Senators in Game 3 of the NHL's Eastern Conference finals Wednesday, and now Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is under fire after a rough outing.</p>Fleury allowed four goals on the Senators' first nine shots in the first period before he was pulled in favor of Matt Murray. Fleury's struggles could cause the Penguins to start Murray in Game 4 on Friday.

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press. Matt Murray, left, has started most of the Penguins ' playoff games this season but was replaced by Marc - Andre Fleury , right, in Game 4 against Tampa Bay. Sullivan will start Murray in goal .

Canadian columnist Elliotte Friedman gives some thoughts on the Pittsburgh Penguins and Marc - Andre Fleury from a league-wide perspective. by Hooks Orpik Dec 21, 2016, 2:48pm EST.

And that’s no way to play playoff hockey, in this view.

“I think all the guys are supportive of each other, especially when it’s your goaltender,” Crosby reminded. “I think everyone knows that we didn’t give him a lot of help. So I’m sure there’s more than one guy saying, hey, you know what, it’s on us, and we’ve got to be better in front of you. Just like everyone else, he’ll turn the page, and we will as a group and make sure we’re better.”

That’s what this team likes to call the right way to play. Starting Fleury, albeit with a slighter shorter leash, happens to be the right way to coach this situation.

Gene Collier: gcollier@post-gazette.com and Twitter @genecollier.

Related slideshow: Stanley Cup playoffs (Provided by photo services)

Stanley Cup playoffs: Penguins' Chad Ruhwedel suffers concussion on big hit from Bobby Ryan .
An already thin Penguins roster suffered another injury Friday, when defenseman Chad Ruhwedel exited late in the first period and never returned in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals after taking elbow to the face on a big hit from Senators winger Bobby Ryan. Ruhwedel remained down on the ice in pain while a scrum ensued along the boards. His Pittsburgh teammates thought Ryan left his feet and went elbow-first into Ruhwedel's head.Penguins coach Mike Sullivan told reporters after Pittsburgh's 3-2 win that Ruhwedel suffered a concussion. The defenseman will be re-evaluated when the club returns to Pittsburgh.

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