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Thread: Crosby And Bylsma Disagreeing On Whether MAF Should Play

      
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    Default Crosby And Bylsma Disagreeing On Whether MAF Should Play

    Crosby, Bylsma agree to disagree on Fleury
    By Rob Rossi, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Tuesday, November 9, 2010


    Sidney Crosby believes Marc-Andre Fleury needs to play.

    Coach Dan Bylsma strongly hinted otherwise Monday. He indicated Brent Johnson will start for the Penguins at home Wednesday night -- adding that Fleury, the club's struggling franchise goalie, "doesn't have (confidence) right now."

    Crosby's assessment differs. He thinks Fleury needs to play his way out of a funk.

    "He's going to have good games. It's not like he can change overnight. He's going to put strings of games together, and he can't do that with one game. So, you've got to be patient, too, and let him get back there," he said after a practice at Southpointe Iceoplex.

    "With a goalie, you've got to give him time. He's got to play four or five games maybe to prove that, but to sit here and question his psyche doesn't really give him a chance."

    Since becoming the youngest captain in NHL history three years ago, Crosby has crafted a reputation for walking the company line. His support of Fleury -- off to a dreadful start and pulled early from a win Saturday night at Phoenix -- is an indication of his maturing leadership qualities.

    Certainly, yesterday marked his first expressed difference of opinion with a coach.

    Maybe he was just having the back of a long-time friend whose famous smiles have been few and far between this season.

    Fleury, who declined comment, is not playing up to the standard of a goalie who garnered a big-game reputation during consecutive runs to the Cup Final in 2008 and 2009. In contrast, Johnson, a respected veteran backup, has played to a Vezina Trophy level.

    He was fourth in goals-against average (1.63) and save percentage (.943) -- though he missed practice because of illness.

    Johnson has won the confidence of Bylsma and teammates, many of whom believe the Penguins (7-7-1, 15 points) cannot afford to give away early-season points while Fleury works through his struggles.

    "Some of it will have to be who gets it going right now and can play a good game for us, and still keeping in mind that we want to get an appropriate amount of work for Marc to get into his rhythm and get to his game," Bylsma said of the goaltending situation.

    He added there is "not a formula" for how to handle this situation -- though last season the Boston Bruins ultimately replaced a veteran reigning Vezina winner Tim Thomas with rookie Tuukka Rask after Thomas never regained his former dominance following early struggles.

    Thomas is again the Bruins' starter and was the leader in goals-against average and save percentage as of yesterday.

    The frustration for Bylsma stems from having witnessed Fleury at his best: a 16-8 run with a 2.61 goals-against average and .908 save percentage during the 2009 playoffs.

    He has allowed a first- or second-shot goal in eight of 21 starts dating to last postseason.

    That trend, Fleury's penchant for surrendering untimely goals and Bylsma's recent allusions to unsatisfactory practice habits and focus has combined to spark debate among fans on the message-board and talk-show circuits that Fleury lacks the proper mental toughness.

    Crosby denounced that speculation.

    "You can analyze it all you want. Honestly, you can. He's mentally tough -- to be a goalie at this level you have to be. He wouldn't have got this far if he wasn't mentally tough," he said.

    "As a group we need to put some wins together, and Flower's a part of that. He's going to put some together and we're going to be OK. You've got to be patient. You can't gain all this ground with playing the next game. It's going to be time and getting game after game. I don't think we have any worries."

    Not about the captain, anyway.

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    Default Re: Crosby And Bylsma Disagreeing On Whether MAF Should Play

    This could get interesting... Disagreeing with the owners Foster Child can't be good. Tony Granato should perhaps prep himself for a promotion

    I'm in agreement with Bylsma though. The Pens need wins. We aren't playing 7-7-1 bad hockey, when BJ starts at goal, we're playing hockey at an elite level in the league currently (which means top 5). When MAF starts, we're losing games. I understand what sid is saying about getting MAF going but you need to ultimately win games, not pamper and baby a soon to be 26 year old goalie who has been in this league for 5 years+
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    Default Re: Crosby And Bylsma Disagreeing On Whether MAF Should Play

    I agree with Bylsma also, WINS first, worrying about a goaltender's confidence later
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    Default Re: Crosby And Bylsma Disagreeing On Whether MAF Should Play

    Crosby is an idiot. This game is about wins...and MAF doesn't put the team in a position to win many...dating back to last year.
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    Default Re: Crosby And Bylsma Disagreeing On Whether MAF Should Play

    You have to produce. Fleury was lousy last year and when you think he could go nowhere but up, he's even worse.

    If a pitcher won alot of games and a championship on a winning team but had a lousy ERA that would indicate the team was the reason he had the wins, not the pitchers production. Same goes for Fleury, but besides having lousy stats, now he's losing games.

    As long as Fleury Blows, it's BJ time.
    Last edited by DrKnow; Nov-09-2010 at 01:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Crosby And Bylsma Disagreeing On Whether MAF Should Play

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    That trend, Fleury's penchant for surrendering untimely goals and Bylsma's recent allusions to unsatisfactory practice habits and focus has combined to spark debate among fans on the message-board and talk-show circuits that Fleury lacks the proper mental toughness.
    Is that true? I honestly had not heard it before, but if it is, it's disturbing.

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    That's ****ed up you know Dan is paid to coach and Crosby gets paid to play and won't get fired if they don't make the playoffs. Crosby STFU and score some goals.

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    Default Re: Crosby And Bylsma Disagreeing On Whether MAF Should Play

    MAF can play his way out of his funk in Wilkes-Barre.

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    They dont want him down there. Their GTs are playing good.

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    Default Re: Crosby And Bylsma Disagreeing On Whether MAF Should Play

    Quote Originally Posted by (419)BlackNGold View Post
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    MAF can play his way out of his funk in Wilkes-Barre.
    Nope...he has to clear waivers...not gonna happen

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    Default Re: Crosby And Bylsma Disagreeing On Whether MAF Should Play

    Quote Originally Posted by DrKnow View Post
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    Nope...he has to clear waivers...not gonna happen
    He'd clear waivers.

    and if he didn't.....


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    Default Re: Crosby And Bylsma Disagreeing On Whether MAF Should Play

    Well the Crosby quotes and the reactions were blown out of proportion What did you expect him to say, MAF blows and it is BJ time?

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    Default Re: Crosby And Bylsma Disagreeing On Whether MAF Should Play

    Sid, You're calling the guy "Flower!" ...How mentally tough can a guy who has accepted the nickname "flower" be?

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    Default Re: Crosby And Bylsma Disagreeing On Whether MAF Should Play

    Quote Originally Posted by PSmitty View Post
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    Well the Crosby quotes and the reactions were blown out of proportion What did you expect him to say, MAF blows and it is BJ time?
    Nope! ...not from Sid "Mr. Politically Correct!"

    That's why we need a new Captain too!

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    Default Re: Crosby And Bylsma Disagreeing On Whether MAF Should Play

    Quote Originally Posted by PSmitty View Post
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    Well the Crosby quotes and the reactions were blown out of proportion What did you expect him to say, MAF blows and it is BJ time?
    Well I am not sure about that. I mean, no, he doesn't have to say Fleury sucks...but he doesn't really have to go against the coaching staff either...he could just say that he's working hard to get better or whatever and that they have confidence in him in/for the future...actually saying he needs to play is both idiotic and disturbing.
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