Dear Marc-Andre Fleury,
Hi Marc, I’m Kevin Anthony Howard. I’m pretty sure you remember my letters to C.C. Sabathia and Lane Kiffin last year when they we’re facing tough situations and they did pretty well after we talked. So I figured after watching you get demolished by a weak scoring Canadians team last night, again, I figured you could use a little talk.
First off just to let you know I hate the Penguins, I’m a Rangers fan, it’s a rivalry you know? So I kind of actually want the Canadians to win tomorrow night at the igloo and send that place to ground in defeat and the fans home teary eyed. Yet not in the fashion that it seems like it’s going to happen in. that being with you being the goat for the eventual loss.
Yeah I know King Crosby just scored his first goal of the series last night, and I know Kris Letang sort of burned you the other night in Montreal and his mistake led to the Canadians knotting up the series, but last night was on you dude. You allowed some soft goals like the Mike Cammalleri back hander, ugly, and that Maxim Lapierre goal where he shook you out of your shoes, uglier.
This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed this in you Marc. No one really paid attention in the Ottawa series, but on the low, you we’re terrible. Games 1 and 3 for you we’re rough to watch especially. I mean you got bailed out by Crosby and Malkin but dude, even you know that that’s not going to cut it especially this year with you all as defending champions and all.
Let’s be real for a minute. Crosby, Malkin and Staal aren’t the only top draft picks on this team. You were the number one pick in the draft in 2003 and the Pens envisioned you as being the best goalie that they had had since Tom Barasso. It was a rough transition to the league but you’ve done a decent job, you made the Canadian gold medal winning team this year, you’ve got a ring from last year and made the finals the year before. Yet Marc, you know as well as I do that you tend to disappoint more than amaze.
Your stats are average, the team actually played better with Ty Conklin in net in 2008 when you we’re injured, and you don’t exactly raise your game with stakes high late in the season or in the playoffs. In the six games you lost to the devils this year you allowed 3 or more goals in every game, against the Caps, 4 or more. That was the reason the pens weren’t a top 3 seed in the first place because of your poor play (which in hindsight doesn’t matter right now because look at where they all are).
With all of that said Marc tomorrow night is your shot. Possible last game in the Igloo, where Barasso won two cups and 300 games, where the Pens turned Pittsburgh into a raging hockey town once the Steelers closed up shop for the season, where Lemieux and Jagr were as synonymous as Jordan and Pippen, where the Pens face elimination and the possibility of being dethroned. This is your shot to come through and prove that that number one pick on you was a worthy one. You can be the best goalie on the ice and carry your team to victory much like your French-Canadian idols Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur.
The season is on your shoulders. You have to stop Cammalleri from continuing his amazing playoff run; you have to be better than Jaroslav Halak who has been putting on his best Mikka Kirprusoff in 2004 or J.S. Giguere from 2003 impression. The pressure is on you more than any other Penguin tomorrow night, much like an ace pitcher in a game 7 in baseball, you have to bring your best stuff in a do or die scenario tomorrow because your team needs you more than ever.
So remember that when the clock strikes seven and the puck is in your corner. You are the number one guy tomorrow night. The pressure is on you to get it done and you better live up to it, or else there are going to be some sour Pens fans come Thursday morning.
Good luck Marc, and remember the reason why you we’re picked number one in 03. Bring that game with you or the Pens are done
Kevin Anthony Howard