Our residential translator extraordinaire Becky is at it again, finding this gem of a blog from Marc-Andre Fleury. It's interesting to see the goaltender, the guy who more or less is the one relied on night in and night out, talking about how this entire playoff push has been a team effort.
Read on to see his compliments of the Lightning (did we expect anything less from Fleury?), what it's like going into the playoffs with Sidney Crosby and his views on pressure heading into the postseason.
I’m going to take advantage of this small window of calm to talk to you about our confrontation with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs.
I am expecting a really interesting series, and I like the novelty of it -- I’ve never gone up against the Lightning in the playoffs. That will be a change from the Rangers, Flyers, and Senators.
The Lightning is a completely different team this season. Guy Boucher and Steve Yzerman have quickly changed the mentality of the organization.
Now, we have to beat the team and not just two or three players. In the past, if you kept a tight watch on Martin Saint-Louis and Vincent Lecavalier, you had a good chance at winning. Today’s Lightning doesn’t rely on just a couple of players.
Guy Boucher has installed a better system of play and his players respect the system. They are very patient and that sometimes becomes frustrating. They wait for the other team to make mistakes.
As a goaltender, I have to watch out for their offense; they have two very good lines with Saint-Louis, Stamkos, Lecavalier, Malone, Gagné, and Purcell.
I have enormous respect for a guy like Saint-Louis. He is incredibly talented and he works excessively hard. He never takes time off; it’s not part of his vocabulary. His attitude is very similar to Sidney Crosby’s.
Still no Sidney
For the time being, there is nothing new on Crosby. He is still practicing with the team, but he still hasn’t gotten the green light to return to playing. It’s not impossible that we will see him in the playoffs, but not for the first games against the Lightning.
We have proven this season that we can win without both Crosby and Malkin. We would love to be able to rely on our two best forwards, but we have to live without them. That is our reality.
We have kept the same system, we are very conscious of our defensive game. In order to win, we have to count on the work of 20 players. There’s a different hero in each of our games.
Tyler Kennedy has been a really nice surprise this season with 21 goals. Chris Kunitz and Jordan Staal have also had a very good end to the season. And I really like our group of defensemen with Letang, Martin, Michalek, and Orpik. The good news is that we have no injuries on the blue line.
No extra pressure
With the absence of Crosby and Malkin, I’m often asked the same question: Do you feel like you’re carrying the team on your shoulders? And I always answer the same way.
The answer is no.
I don’t want to think in the long term. I just want to stop the puck. I will never score a goal. But I can prevent a lot of them….
We’ll talk again at the end of the first round. I’m really hoping for a happy outcome. And I sincerely believe in our chances.
Original: Radio Canada (en Francais)