|(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)|
Never mind that there are two specific players dedicated to keep the opposing team away from the net. Never mind that there's are three players dedicated to scoring on the opposing teams goalie so as to insure a goal here or there can be spared. Alas! It is the goalie's plight to be the focal point of carrying a team to the promise land. And here we have MAF as the main culprit.
Since the 2009 Cup the Pens have struggled to make any progress in the playoffs. Yes, we all know that. It is, incidentally, the plight of the fan of this team. Expectations are high when nothing less than the Cup satisfies you. But do we really need to put the onus entirely and completely on Fleury? We all want someone to blame for the losses. In the past the real whipping boy has been Geno. Of the two major superstars on the team he has been the one with the tendency to show some volatility. However a new face has emerged out of the mouths of babes, that being Crosby.
Despite 87's constant persistent regular season play, he hasn't put up any goals this post season. For a guy who won the Art Ross this year it's nearly unthinkable for him to not have lit the lamp thus far. And because of that, he's been taken some heat for it amongst the fan base and media sources alike. But enough about Sid, it's all going to change here soon.
MAF has shown us a glimpse of his 2009 glory once again in the game last night against the Rangers. Sure the Rags looked a little tired. Sure they didn't look like they were on their game. But the Penguins, for all intents and purposes didn't either. The difference? Out-dueling Kind Henry with a little help from Letang, Jokinen, and Malkin. If 87 starts producing at a rate of even a half a goal each game and Fleury can remain sharp, the upside to this team shows nothing but the Cup over their heads
The odds at allpro currently have the Penguins as second only to the Blackhawks as the Stanley Cup favs. And there's good reason for that because the Penguins could very easily be up 2-0 in the second round with a "struggling" captain and a seemingly volatile goalie.