PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – NHL on TSN analyst and longtime NHL goaltender Martin Biron joined The Fan Morning Show Friday to offer his take on Fleury’s performance in the 2014 playoffs.
Biron says he doesn’t buy into Dan Bylsma’s comment that Fleury’s venturing behind the net before Brandon Dubinsky’s game-tying goal on Wednesday was the wrong play at the wrong time.
“I disagree,” Biron said. “First minute of the first period, what would you do? You would try to stop that puck to help out your defensemen … nobody’s talking about Scuderi and Letang, who were completely on the other side of the faceoff dot, that’s why Dubinsky was left alone.”
Biron says he understands why Fleury played the puck.
“The rule of thumb is always, if somebody shoots a hard slapper into the glass, where it could hit a stanchion- the percentage of you stopping it behind the net is very low,” Biron said. “This was a very soft chip into the corner that kept rolling towards the back of the net and just took a few bad hops. I probably would have done the same thing.”
Biron feels that the long Nick Foligno shot that Fleury let in for the overtime winner was a more egregious failure for Fleury, although he can also understand how that happens.
“It’s a very hard play for a goaltender because you’re not going to put your body behind it,” Biron said. “It’s not like you’re a catcher in baseball, and you know that the big sinker and the big curveball that’s coming in, that you have to get your body behind it. You just are playing it like every other shot, where you just get your glove, and you’re about to catch it, and that thing just drops about a foot, maybe two feet, and then you look just like an amateur goalie in net. But that is more where Marc-Andre Fleury’s head has got to be at, as opposed to where the tying goal was.”
Biron said he worked with a sports psychologist during his career just as Fleury has.
“As a teammate, you’re kind of left alone,” Biron said. “You don’t have a linemate to pick you up. You don’t have somebody to talk to on the bench. You’re in your own bubble in your crease.”
The interview can be heard here:
(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)