#1

from the start, forcing a save from Rostov goalkeeper Soslan Dzhanaev early on

in Sport 27.05.2019 08:50
von mary123 • 1.541 Beiträge

PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- For more than a decade, this has been his net, his job, his town.A decade of superlative goaltending that has, in spite of the odd wobble, established Marc-Andre Fleury as one of the great goaltenders of his generation.Consider: At the start of this season, the 31-year-old is 18th among all NHL goalies with 357 wins.Lets imagine he plays four more years and averages 25 wins a season -- a paltry amount, given his historical level of consistency -- and that gives him 457 wins, which would put him fourth all time. If he has relatively good health, hes more likely to end up third all time, behind only Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur. Throw in a couple of Stanley Cups (at least), a place on Canadas Olympic roster in 2010 and the next thing you know, Hello, Hall of Fame.And still, and still, for someone this constant, this sure in this most passionate of hockey towns, things are anything but certain and sure for Fleury as the Pittsburgh Penguins begin defense of their 2016 Stanley Cup championship.Yes, he was tabbed to start ?Thursday night for the banner-raising game against the Washington Capitals, just as he was after the Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings in seven memorable games in the 2009 finals.Make no mistake, this is different.Fleury knows it. The fans know it. Heir apparent to the Penguins net, Matt Murray, who is recovering from a broken hand sustained while playing for Team North America in the World Cup of Hockey, knows it.I knew it would be a little bit different from what Im used to, Fleury admitted, the trademark grin firmly in place. But I was glad to be able to come back to Pittsburgh, to be able to play with this team and play for this city again. And Ill try my best try to win some games. Its all I can do, really.Murray started last season in the American Hockey League and then came on in relief of Fleury after Fleury sustained a concussion late in the regular season. Then, Murray became the story of the 16 playoffs. He was injured in the final regular season game but returned for the second game of the Pens first-round series against the New York Rangers. He yielded one start the rest of the way, that in the Eastern Conference finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning in which Fleury took the loss, and turned in a .923 save percentage behind a 15-6 record.A few days before he celebrated a Stanley Cup championship, Murray turned 22. And then turned the Pittsburgh goaltending situation on its ear.Or did he?What seemed assured, that Fleury would begin this season as last season ended -- sitting on the end of the Penguin bench with a ball cap on his head -- has now been thrown into disarray.Murray is nursing his broken hand and Fleury, as he has been pretty much for the past dozen years, will be the man when the Penguins begin another pursuit of greatness.It wasnt always easy for Fleury last spring, but he was universally lauded by teammates and observers for his deportment during the playoff run.Ive always been used to playing, to be in there, so some days were a little tougher, he admitted. But as a teammate, I wouldnt want anybody to see it or to think about that, to think about me. I just wanted them to focus on their game and not be a distraction for anybody. At the end, like I said, we won, so it was all worth it.Mike Rupp played with six NHL teams and some of the games greatest goalies -- including Fleury -- before retiring. He spoke with Fleury during the finals and was impressed but not surprised by the netminders demeanor in the face of having been supplanted as the No. 1.Marc-Andre Fleury is legitimately the most kind, probably the best guy Ive ever met in hockey, said Rupp, whos now a national analyst. He is that. And everybody thinks that and says that. Hes just the ultimate teammate.Lets not confuse being a good teammate with not caring who starts.Fleury wants very much to again be the man.Whether thats here in Pittsburgh or somewhere else, that remains to be seen.Former teammate Colby Armstrong, also a national broadcast analyst, understands the mental toll this kind of uncertainty can have on a player.Thats what the games all about, thats the hardest part of the game, Armstrong said. I know in playing with him and dealing with him and even just talking to him, hes a proud guy that wants to do the right thing and be a good teammate and is also competitive and wants to have that net. I respect that.Close your eyes and you can still see Fleury sliding across to block Nicklas Lidstroms last-second bid to tie Game 7 at Joe Louis Arena in June 2009. GM Jim Rutherford can. He was running Carolina at the time, his Hurricanes having been swept by Fleury and the Penguins in four games in the 2009 Eastern Conference finals.If the outside view might be of a team with a potential goaltending controversy Rutherford, who played 457 NHL games as a goaltender, views things somewhat differently.What I worry about as a GM is if you dont have one goalie, Rutherford said. So, why would I worry about having two good ones?Indeed, when was the last time a team entered a season with two goaltenders who had guided their teams to Stanley Cup wins?Rupp, for one, believes the Penguins are starting the season with the best tandem in the business.Rutherford might have to make a hard decision at some point as the season moves along, but he doesnt have to make that decision today. I have a very good veteran goalie and I have a very good young goalie, he said. Itll play itself out.How?And until that narrative reveals itself, Fleury is content to try to enjoy this as much as possible.Its tough because I get reminded by people coming to the rink and stuff with mics, he said with another chuckle. So, yeah, sometimes you have a little thought whats going to happen and stuff. But I have to remind myself to enjoy the day, enjoy what we have now. Its going to be good here and whatever happens, happens.I just want to be normal, he added. I dont want to overanalyze, overthink stuff. I just want to have a nice season, go play, enjoy the guys at the rink, outside the rink.Surely the man who has owned this net, this team, this town for so long deserves that much. Swell Water Bottle Wholesale . The FA rejected Wilsheres appeal that the length of his punishment was "clearly excessive" and said Thursday his suspension begins with immediate effect. He will miss league matches against Chelsea on Monday and West Ham on Dec. Swell Bottles Clearance .ca looks back at the stories and moments that made the year memorable. http://www.swellbottlesclearance.com/swell-stone-collection-bottle.html . The Canadian squad, skipped by Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg, got on the board first with two in the second end, and followed that with two more apiece in the fourth and sixth ends. Swell Water Bottle Cheap . -- Peyton Manning will have all of his wide receivers available for the first time in a month when the Denver Broncos begin their playoff run Jan. Swell Traveler Sale . Scott won the Australian PGA last week in his first event in Australia since winning the U.S. Masters in April. American Matt Kuchar, ahead by two strokes with four to play and even with Scott with one to go, double-bogeyed the 18th after taking two shots to get out of a bunker. ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia -- Top of La Liga and now with three wins from three in the Champions League, Atletico Madrids season so far is going to plan after beating FC Rostov 1-0 on Wednesday.Yannick Ferreira Carrasco fired in the winner on a cold night in Russia on Wednesday, and at the halfway point in Group D Atletico is all but assured of qualifying for the knockout stages with an eight-point lead over third place.Carrasco now boasts five goals from his last four games for Atletico after having failed to score in his first seven outings of the season. Against Rostov, the Belgium winger was all action from the start, forcing a save from Rostov goalkeeper Soslan Dzhanaev early on and twice helping to set up good chances that were missed by Angel Correa.Against a tenacious Rostov teaam which had not lost at home for 26 games, the breakthrough came in the 62nd minute when Carrasco met Juanfrans cross with a fierce shot on the bounce after Fernando Torres had failed to convert from close range.ddddddddddddAtleticos star attacking midfielder Antoine Griezmann started the game slowly but played an increasingly valuable role in the second half and could have scored Atleticos second in the 83rd, but Dzhanaev made the save.Defensively minded Rostov has one point from three games in its Champions League debut campaign and rarely threatened to score against Atletico, barring a couple of late efforts easily dealt with by goalkeeper Jan Oblak. ' ' '

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