Is a goalie controversy brewing in Pittsburgh?

Marc-Andre Fleury appears to be in the hot seat after receiving some tough competition from back-up netminder Brent Johnson recently, and Penguins coach Dan Bylsma seems to be more than willing to ride the hot hand.

Fleury has struggled early to find his game and has played dismally so far this season. In three starts, Fleury has yet to win a game and boasts an unimpressive 3.41 goals against average with a .853 save percentage. His most recent loss came at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs last week when Fleury let in four goals on only 14 shots.

Johnson, a career back-up goaltender who has spent time in the past with St. Louis, Phoenix and Washington, has been stellar for the Penguins thus far and has helped the team win three in a row since the loss to Toronto. During that time, Johnson has  posted a 1.49 goals against average and a .950 save percentage.

Before yesterday’s game against the Ottawa Senators, Bylsma stated that he didn’t know who the starting netminder would be for the team and that it would be a “game-time decision.” Johnson was awarded his third consecutive start and made the most of it by turning away 32 shots on net to advance his record to 4-0 on the season. The Penguins won the game by a margin of 5-2.

“It’s Flower’s (Fleury’s) team, everyone knows that,” Johnson said. “It’s important right now that if I am looked upon to get in there, I try to get the job done.”

If you happen to own Fleury in a Fantasy Hockey league, don’t panic just yet. It’s still early enough in the season that Fleury can rebound back to prime form. The Penguins have two games remaining this week. The team will visit Nashville on Thursday and then St. Louis on Saturday. Fleury will most likely receive at least one of those starts and get the chance to redeem himself and gain back some confidence.


  1. I think there’s more of a controversy in Boston. Tim Thomas has been stellar so far and owns most of the playing time for the Bruins.

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