From CSN Bay Area:
“Stats aside, I don't think Fleury was that good tonight,” [Logan] Couture said. “He gave up a lot of rebounds and a lot of shots he looked shaky on. We weren't able to score on second chances.”
[Joe] Pavelski said: “He was fighting it all night. It felt like we could have had five. Pucks were bouncing and laying between his legs. There were a couple second opportunities, that there were times you didn't know how it didn't go in.”
As you can imagine, this didn't sit too well with the Penguins after skating off home ice with a sizable win over one of the league's best teams.
Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette shared some of the Penguins players' thoughts after their Friday practice, the most pointed coming from defenseman Matt Niskanen.
Niskanen on Couture quote:That's kind of a stupid comment. Sure, they had a lot of chances.They didn't bury them b/c he competed really hard— Shelly Anderson (@pgshelly) December 6, 2013
Sidney Crosby also weighed in, giving his assessment of his goaltender's play.
Crosby: There are times where everybody has tuff nights. It didn't seem like that was a tuff night for [Fleury] as far as fighting the puck— Shelly Anderson (@pgshelly) December 6, 2013
Fleury, who has been oft criticized in the wake of actual shaky performances in the playoffs in recent years, had a pretty simple retort for Logan Couture in particular.
Fleury on Couture quote: "Maybe he should have put it in then. What was he doing?" #Penguins— Shelly Anderson (@pgshelly) December 6, 2013
Why, that's a good question, Marc-Andre. Couture had five shots on goal in the game, none of which beat the Penguins netminder, who also thwarted all 11 of San Jose's shots on the power play.
There are certainly times when goalies don't have their best and still get wins, but the fact the Sharks were so critical after a game they lost 5-1 and couldn't get more than one of 45 shots past a “shaky” goalie is a little laughable.
The Pens were right to come to their goaltender's defense.
In 25 games this season, Fleury has posted a 16-7-1 record, .922 save percentage and 2.01 goals-against average.