Penguins 101 Pt 4

And then there were five.

It’s not often a team can actually say they have too many capable goalies. Recently, the Penguins signed three goalies: last season’s pleasant surprise Sebastien Caron, the teams 2003 seventh round pick Andy Chiodo, and career minor leaguer and former AHL MVP Martin Brochu. These three along with Johan Hedberg, J.S Aubin and future Ubergoalie Marc-Andre Fluery were set to battle it out for the two AHL spots and the two NHL spots. It’s a given that this seasons AHL tandem will be Chiodo with Brochu as his back up.

It’s the NHL picture that is a bit murky. First off there was Johan Hedberg. Yes, I said “was” since as of Monday afternoon Hedberg, and the final year of his contract, were sent packing to the Vancover Canucks for a simple 2nd round draft pick. Three years ago Hedberg was saved from a San Jose depth chart in which he was ranked 4th when he, along with Bobby Dollas, was traded to Pittsburgh for defenseman Jeff Norton. Hedberg had an incredible run deep into the playoffs. But two years later, he has shown himself to be inconsistent and temperamental on the ice, plus his overly aggressive style and his lack of lateral mobility have cost the Penguins more then a few games.

J.S Aubin was once highly prized by the Penguin organization. In his second year as a pro, he took the team from a then oft-injured Tom Barrasso and led them to the playoffs. But between injuries, off ice conflicts with Barrasso, a hold out over a one way contract, the team’s public lack of confidence shown by the additions of Ron Tugnutt, Garth Snow and Johan Hedberg, Aubin’s confidence is non-existent. But after being waived and sent to the minors, Aubin bounced back, played well, and won an AHL player of the month award at the end of the season. He may have redeemed himself enough that the team may consider him for the backup role in the NHL.

Sebastein Caron. Six, eight months ago no one knew the kid’s name. But after a strong season in front of a battered, bruised, and broken, Penguins’ defense, Caron is an NHL player. He has his NHL-only contract in hand and is now the next name on the “Penguin’s goalie of the future” list. Before him were Patrick Lalime and J.S. Aubin and in front of him is Marc-Andre Fleury. His time in the spotlight may be brief but I feel he will make the most of it. With the trade of Johan Hedberg, the starting position is now his to lose. Although Hedberg was obviously a fan favorite, the attitude that Caron brings to the ice has certainly helped the city warm up to him. Caron also has worked this off season to not only work on his stamina, but to add some weight to his 6-3 140lb lanky frame. Caron’s ability to cover the bottom of the net has always been his strength, and hopefully now, after his off-season workouts, he will be better suited to stop those few high corner shots that had alluded him last season.

I personally feel that Fluery will be returned to Juniors for this season, but he is allowed to play in 11 games before he is sent back. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him get a small taste of the NHL, not only so he knows what to expect, but so that the fans can see the kid play in the here and now. But as Craig Patrick put it on Monday night Fluery is the “wild card” in the equation, meaning that he will have every chance to prove that he is worth taking a risk on this season.

All in all I feel that there are just too many question marks in the East. The Islanders and Boston are both going into the season with questionable goaltending. The Rangers have chemistry problems, and always seem to lack the drive and heart it takes to make the playoffs. Washington and Toronto are lacking depth at defense and who knows if Tampa Bay is going to take another nose dive. New Jersey has scoring and power play issues and Montreal just always seems to be in limbo. All it takes is for one of these teams to slip and I can see a younger, hungrier team like Pittsburgh or Atlanta sneaking in and taking their place. Look at the Wild, look at the Ducks it wouldn’t be the first time.


11 Responses to Penguins 101 Pt 4

  1. Lint07 says:

    here’s what I think.

    Sébastien Caron will be #1 since he’s the management’s favorite. He’s been a pleasant surprise last year and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get around 45-50 starts.

    They never had confidence in Jean-Sébastien Aubin to begin with, they don’t like him much and it shows. I don’t think he’ll have a real chance anytime soon, unless Caron gets hurt. I say 25-30 starts for him.

    then you have Marc-André Fleury. I agree with you they’ll likely make him play around 5 games just to make him see how’s the caliber in the big leagues then he’ll be back in his junior team.

    I say that unless Caron or Aubin gets hurt, Martin Brochu will not play much in the NHL this year. on the other hand though, it’s the first time in his carreer he’s fighting for a job with 2 unproven young goaltenders with next to no NHL experience at all, so it becomes the cance of his life. he could be a wild card as well.

    Chiodo will play in the minors for sure.

  2. titans says:

    Hey anyone been to a Penguins game seen the awnings over the concession stands I designed…pretty ugly huh? Or how about the PenStation team store logo? Hey I was young and dumb!

  3. great_one98 says:

    There’s a part 4? Wow, i guess pens do have fans.

  4. great_one98 says:

    You shut up! nerd.

  5. great_one98 says:

    Pittsburgh+Melon Arena=….

  6. Barbecuebear20 says:

    I dont thnk there is anway that fluery will play for the penguins this year. That would be inane.

  7. titans says:

    NO! YOU SHUT UP!! DORK!!

  8. titans says:

    Did you mean to use the word inane or did you mean insane. If so I commend you for your vocabulary skills!

  9. great_one98 says:

    YOU FIRST!!!WOMEN!!

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