ShareThis Page

Penguins notebook: Fleury getting wish of heavy workload

Jonathan Bombulie
| Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, 6:30 p.m.
Penguins goaltener Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save on the Sharks' Joe Pavelski in the second period Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins goaltener Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save on the Sharks' Joe Pavelski in the second period Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 at PPG Paints Arena.

Before the preseason started, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said he wanted to get as much game action as possible to knock off the rust from an unusual offseason.

Fleury's wish has come true.

He started six games in 10 days to open the season, only watching 20 minutes from the bench, the third period of Saturday's 5-1 loss to Nashville.

On paper, the results have been mixed. Fleury is 3-2-1 with a .904 save percentage. In the locker room, there has been widespread praise for Fleury's ability to keep the team in games during times of struggle.

Either way, Fleury said he doesn't regret wishing for a heavy early-season workload.

“It's nice,” Fleury said. “I wish it would be more wins by now, definitely, and there are still little things I need to get better at, little timing things, but it's been good. I've seen a lot of pucks in a lot of different situations.”

Goalie conditioning

Fleury's workload likely will ease up in the near future. Matt Murray took part in a full team practice Monday in Cranberry, saying his return was getting “closer and closer every day.”

Murray said the nature of his injury, a broken hand, allowed him to stay in shape while he recovered, which is more critical for a goalie than many realize.

“In general, I think goalies are the highest heart rates during practice,” Murray said. “Everybody always makes the joke that you're not moving or not doing anything. Skaters, maybe it's a little more lung capacity because you're skating for longer periods of time. For us, it's more muscular endurance, maybe. I know my heart rate's off the charts every practice. It's a different kind of conditioning, but at the end of the day, you've got to be in good shape.”

Jagr's visit

Ageless winger Jaromir Jagr will make the first of two scheduled visits to town this season when the Penguins host the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

For years, opponents have expressed how difficult it is to defend Jagr, who uses his massive lower body to protect the puck like no one the game has seen.

Fleury said that ability also creates problems for goaltenders.

“Sometimes you don't think he's going to get a shot off, but his body, how he moves, he can protect the puck and all of a sudden, it's tough,” Fleury said. “He's a little sneaky that way sometimes.”

When Fleury discussed Jagr's career accomplishments — Thursday night he became the third player in NHL history to hit the 750-goal mark — he literally took the Penguins baseball cap off of his head.

“It's amazing. All the records he's got and there were a couple of lockouts in there and he went to Russia for three years,” Fleury said. “Hats off to him.”

Playing in purple

The Penguins will wear purple warm-up jerseys Tuesday night as part of a Hockey Fights Cancer fundraiser. The autographed jerseys will be auctioned off at pittsburghpenguinsfoundation.com, with proceeds going to the UPMC Cancer Center and Mario Lemieux Foundation.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jbombulie@tribweb.com or via Twitter at @BombulieTrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.