Amber Alexander asks the question: To Play Fleury or Not to Play Fleury? While also making some observations about the fanbase…
By Amber Alexander
The Pens have finally gotten their game going and are sitting in1st in the Atlantic. When the season started off at 1-3, we saw what the “bandwagon” fans — those that became fans of the Pens during the two runs to the Stanley Cup Final. Those same fans were the ones who booed our team when a pass didn’t connect, a power play went nowhere, or basically said our team was never going to win a Cup again.
Same ole same ole.
When I became a fan of the Pens, twitter wasn’t established yet. But now that it is in full swing, it’s amazing to see fan’s reactions to a loss as well as to a win.
The first four games were hard to watch, but I watched every second of them. I defended our team and yes, even our goalie. I was thankful that I was only “following” the faithful Penguins’ followers on twitter.
They were the same way: “This game’s over, there’s no changing the time, or score.”
I had written an article for FTP the day of the loss to Montreal. I was ecstatic for the game, much like the rest of the Penguin fans. The article was about our fan base and how it differs from other fan bases around the league.
“We don’t boo our players when they make a bad play,” I stated. “We don’t boo them off the ice at the end of a bad game.”
“And we NEVER mock cheer our goalie who isn’t having the best game.”
But I guess I was wrong. The game against Montreal was an embarrassment for both fans and players.
Yeah our team lost, so what? Our fans were even more embarrassing.
Watching the game online, I heard both mock cheers and booing for our team.
I had already sent Brian the article and after the game, I asked him not to publish it. I didn’t want anyone to read it and think we had the best fan base because that night… we didn’t.
We all know how hockey goes. You win some and you lose some. Now that we are back on track, there’s another debate going on. Do we stick with the hot hand in Brent Johnson or do we go back to our number one, Marc Andre Fleury — the guy who help us win the Stanley Cup in 2009.
If you follow me on twitter than you might have noticed me wanting to start Flower in Nashville on Thursday. You might have also noticed me wanting to start Flower last night.
Brent Johnson said it well when asked about Fleury. “This is his team,” Johnson said.
What frustrates me is the way that Fleury is being treated by fans. He didn’t play that badly in net. Yes we lost, and yes he let in some soft goals, but if you watched the entire game you would have seen him make some huge saves.
Johnson has no pressure on him; he’s having the time of his life. And why shouldn’t he? He deserves it. But at the end of the day, Johnson is still the backup to Fleury — the same guy who has help this team win a ton of hockey games and including a Stanley Cup Championship.
Whether you like it or not, Fleury will always be the number 1 goaltender for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
We just got lucky with Johnson as backup.
***Amber is a hockey fan from the deep south. She prefers a Penguins match-up over any College Football game and enjoys writing about hockey in general. A Journalism major, Amber is a news reporter for her local newspaper. You can follow her on twitter here.