NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Pittsburgh Penguins at Columbus Blue Jackets

The Fallout: Marc-Andre Fleury, Rob Scuderi, Columbus fans.

Song someone making a montage should use for Game 5

Marc-Andre Fleury reaction

The thin line in the playoffs. Marc-Andre Fleury was one bounce away from being the star of the game. Now he is all anyone is talking about. Three pieces on him worth reading.

1. Dejan says don’t abandon MAF. [ Trib ]

Good read. Thought this line summed it up:

Let me be clear on this: The Penguins have no choice but to trust Fleury. Not only because an untested Jeff Zatkoff is the backup but also because … well, he’s pretty much all they’ve had to this point.

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2. Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky hits a point home about Fleury’s mental state. [ Deadspin ]

But don’t you feel a little something for Fleury, the human being who sat at his locker with his head down, his face buried in a t-shirt, who after making 42 saves—many of them highlight-reel quality—is singlehandedly blamed for the loss? Maybe not sympathy, but at least pity? In no other job is a person so utterly alone and in the spotlight, his every foible isolated and analyzed. And for someone like Fleury, who has already built up a reputation as a choker and knows it, to choke again? And to know he’s going to take most of the heat, even though the Penguins are icing their weakest team in years? There but for the grace of Tom Barrasso go we.

3. Justin Bourne from the Score with a strong, strong piece titled “The Penguins’ Marc-Andre Fleury problem (and why his career with them hinges on Game 5.)” [ The Score ]

Saturday night is the perfect time to let him find himself again. With two days off before the next game, both teams come in rested – generally an advantage for the more talented team. They are back in Pittsburgh and sure to be hungry after a crushing defeat.

Totally reasonable piece by Bourne. Great point about the two days off. We’ve seen Fleury respond in the past, and Bourne is right – his career with the Pens hinges on this game. For the people chanting “IT ISN’T FLEURY’S FAULT,” we hear you. But know this. Careers are defined by moments in the playoffs. If the Penguins lose this series, the moment that puck jumped over Fleury’s stick became a definitive moment for him. You cannot deny that.

Rob Scuderi has been terrible

Eye-opening stuff from Adam Gretz on Rob Scuderi early this week. [ SBN ]

If this sounds like a scathing criticism of Scuderi, well, that’s probably because it is. But that’s not really the intent. He’s doing what he can, and whatever problems he is having are not from a lack of effort or a lack of understanding ofwhat to do or how to do it.

He just can’t physically do it anymore.

Scuderi had a front-row seat for the game-tying goal last night, and overall Brandon Dubinsky’s line is eating him alive.

Here come Columbus fans

The Blue Jackets and their fans are the story of the playoffs right now. They stood for all of OT,in a stunning display of watching a fanbase fall in love with playoff hockey. It is all similar to how the Pirates and their fans were viewed during the MLB playoffs last year. Some highlights:

– This pic is on the front page of reddit hockey. Some dude took a selfie after the Jackets won. [ reddit ]

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Some other pics:

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In the crowd when they won it:

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