A lot has been said over the past 48 hours regarding Marc-Andre Fleury and his off-night in Game 5. Joe Starkey mentioned today in the Trib-Review that MAF had to be solid from here on out. Pensburgh user Dr. Tre examined the streaky tendencies of Fleury, while Malsby examined the theory of momentum (good debate too) and where it may play a part in this series.
When you really get down to it though - and I mean really look at this season and series as a whole - can you pin it all on just one guy?
Goalies get the credit when its due and often take the fall when it's more of a team collapse than anything else. Chris Osgood earned his 22-save shutout. You could argue that he was barely challenged (Shots: 10-6-6) or say the Red Wings' puck possession was the factor, but none of those excuses puts a goal in the Penguins' column.
In a way a lot of Game 6 and, hockey Gods willing, Game 7 rely heavily on Fleury. To say it's all on his back though may be a bit of an overstatement.
The point is Pittsburgh can't get into a 1-0 hole against Detroit. The Wings are a good team defensively, keep the pressure offensively and will continue to get chances regardless of who is on the ice for either side. Fleury has to come up big but the offense has to come up bigger.
Ideally MAF will come out of his G5 funk and post a shutout in G6. Again that's ideal - not something you can sit back and expect. Even if Fleury only gives up one or two goals it's on the offense to match the Wings' every move and keep applying pressure to Osgood.
The firepower is there for Pitt. Even with Fleury giving up one or two goals it will come down to the rest of the team to make a 1-0 hole a 2-1 win, or a 2-0 deficit a 3-2 victory.
It's a team effort out there and G6 will surely bring out the best for both teams. If Pitt wants to force a Game 7 they'll have to outdo Detroit in every aspect of the game, but most importantly team play.
We have two games to win. We have one game to win to draw even. We’re focused on one game. Do we need those guys to score a goal? We don’t need them to score a goal. We need our team to play well, we need our special teams to be better than their special teams. If we do that, we’re going to give ourselves a chance to win the game.
Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma