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15 March 2007

Jocelyn Thibault looks to revive dead career...

A few weeks ago, while the Penguins were riding high on a somewhat unbeatable streak and rose from "scrub" to "contender", goaltender Jocelyn Thibault publicly admited he would like more playing time behind former first overall pick, Marc-Andre Fleury.

After a terrific month of January in which Fleury showed why he was a first overall pick, he went 7-1 with a 2.05 GAA and a .932 SPCT% to go along with 2 shutouts in that span, Fleury's play has gone from outstanding to mediocre.

Despite posting a 7-2 win-loss record in the month of February, Fleury's save percentage was a paltry .888 and his GAA floated around 3.22 during that month and he only managed to win games due to the emergence of Pittsburgh's offence, centered mainly around Sidney Crosby.

Most fans brushed this month off, claiming fatigue to be a factor as Fleury played in 10 games while Thibault only 3. His bad streak has not left him yet and he is still posting mediocre numbers in this month of March with nearly the same as the previous month with a 3.17 GAA and a .889 SPCT%, a miniscule improvement.

Despite his wins, head coach Michel Therrien did not leave these struggles go unnoticed by reacting with Jocelyn Thibault getting the nod against two powerhouses: the Ottawa Senators last week and the New Jersey Devils yesterday.
He has not dissapointed and that can be proven by looking at the final score of yesterday's Devils-Penguins game: 3-0 Pittsburgh...his first shutout of the season.

Although this is kind of premature: Thibault's numbers for the current month of play are impressive, maybe surprising considering he's fallen to a no. 2 goalie status.

3 GP, 2 W, 1 L , 1.46 GAA, .932 SCPT%, 1 SO
Before All-Star: 1-5, 3.42 GAA, .895 SPCT%
After All-Star: 5-2, 1.94 GAA, .929 SPCT%

This is Thibault's chance...with Fleury floundering he brings a lot to the table that the young netminder doesn't: experience.

He better not screw this up...

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge

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