2011 NHL Playoffs: Pittsburgh Penguins Trust in Marc-Andre Fleury

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2011 NHL Playoffs: Pittsburgh Penguins Trust in Marc-Andre Fleury
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Analysts and fans always overreact to one game, especially during the playoffs.

In the NBA, I watch the ESPN analysts anoint the Boston Celtics the best team in the NBA just because they swept a Knicks team without Chauncey Billups and Amare Stoudemire.

It is easy to push the panic button after the Pittsburgh Penguins lackluster 8-2 defeat in Game 5 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Matthew Barnaby did pick the Lightning to win in six games, however he seemed to back off that when the Pens went up 3-1 in the series. Then, after Saturday's game, he is all the way back on the Lightning wagon after just one game.

Clearly, these so-called "analysts" pay no attention to the games or history.

History will tell you that Marc-Andre Fleury will not let the Penguins falter in Game 6.

After a postseason loss, Fleury is 12-4 with a 2.01 goals against average and a .927 save percentage. In that record is a 3-0 record after being pulled in the previous game, like he was in Game 5.

The fact that he has been able to bounce back is impressive, but he has also been able to bounce back on the biggest stage.

In the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals, Fleury and the Penguins were rocked and rattled in Detroit in a pivotal Game 5, losing 5-0 to go down 3-2 in the series. Fleury and the team looked horrible, the 5-0 score felt more like a 10-0 score. Fleury bounced back and won the next two games to lead the Penguins to their third Stanley Cup Championship.

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Not only does his track record make you believe he will bounce back, but just listening to him talk shows how mentally tough he is. In his post-game interview he was obviously upset to lose but you can see him fight back a smile a few times and he says all the right things. He is not smiling because the Pens lost, that is just who he is and what makes him a great goaltender. He is able to shake things off and move on.

So please do not overreact. Do not crown the Lightning because of one bad game by the Penguins. Fleury will be outstanding tonight, and the Pens will win in six games as I predicted to start the series.

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