I defended him after Game 3, and I still stand by my assessment of those games. But good lord was Fleury awful in Game 6. I never said he was completely beyond blame in the first three losses, but in those there were other glaring inadequacies that led to the Penguins’ demise above and beyond the spotty goaltending. In this one there is no two ways about it: Fleury (or any other NHL-caliber goaltender) should have saved every single shot he faced in Game 6. I still don’t think that he is as awful as he’s made out to be by some people, but there’s no defending a performance like that. To the tape:
As Justin Bourne points out, a sizeable portion of the blame on the first goal goes to Sullivan, but Fleury had a clean look at it and has to make that save, especially on the first shift of an elimination game.
Powerplay or not. He has to control that rebound and freeze the puck. Terrible play.
This one is the worst of the worst. I don’t care if it was tipped, it was a floater from the blueline. An NHL goalie should have the reflexes to be able to adjust to a change of direction on a shot of that speed from that distance. This was his Tommy Salo moment.
And more sloppy play where Fleury fails to freeze the puck leads to another second chance on the doorstep and the Penguins’ season is done.
Better luck next year.