Photo credit: Marianne Helm

FREDERICK, MD – On the eve of a pivotal game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, fans of the eliminated Washington Capitals finally chose their allegiance. “If Bylsma doesn’t play Marc-Andre Fleury, he’ll be squandering the Pens’ chance at the Cup,” said 24-year-old die-hard Caps fan Steve Neuschwander of Monrovia, MD. “I mean, I know his playoff save percentage has been under 90% for the last few years, but that just means he’s due.”

Neuschwander, wearing a custom-embroidered KOLZILLA Caps jersey and smelling vaguely of stale Keystone, continued, “You put your trust in Flower; he won’t let you down.” Holding one hand to his chest and the other to the sky, Neuschwander proclaimed, “I want the Penguins to win this as much as anyone, and they’re not gonna do it without MAF.”

Fleury has struggled of late, allowing many deemed “soft” goals before being relieved in favor of former Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun in the first round, a point not lost on Caps stat-fanatic Dale Greenblatt. “Trust me, Vokoun is a fraud. I want nothing but the best for the Penguins of Pittsburgh, and the best goes by the initials M, A, and F.” Greenblatt, whose Caps blog Bring Back Bradley features advanced statistical analysis and frequent misspellings of Swedish player names, produced several bubble charts illustrating the superiority of Fleury over Vokoun.

"Vokoun is the médiocre choice. He lacks flow." - Anonymous Capitals supporter

“Vokoun is the médiocre choice. He lacks flow.” – Anonymous Capitals supporter

Pittsburgh, who could take a 3-1 series lead with a win on Wednesday night, is expected to keep Tomas Vokoun in net. That, according to a Caps fan who preferred to remain anonymous, would be tantamount to unconditional surrender. “Oui, Vokoun has beaucoup experience and a proven record of supérieure goalkeeping,” said the Caps fan, who chose to go by the name Matt Perot, “but he’s got no heart. The Pens will need heart to close out this series over a team with defense as stiff as a Quebecois toonie.” The anonymous fan continued between nibbles of a croissant, “And when you think heart, when you think cœur, you think Marc-Andre Fleury. When has he ever let anyone down?”

Caps fans are not alone in their advocacy for Fleury, as noted hockey experts Stephen A. Smith and @hockeyyinsiderr also voiced support for the goalie switch.

Head coach Dan Bylsma remained mum as of press time, although the Penguins did eschew pucks at Wednesday’s morning skate in favor of beach balls.

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  • This. Is awesome.

  • CDizz

    I want them to play Fleury just so they crash and burn.

  • orly

  • Anyone else want to pop that bubble and watch the gum get stuck to his face…..or is that just me!??

  • Annie Lockyer

    Ha! This was such a good way to start my day.

  • Dominic

    My tongue just bruised my cheek.

  • Chris

    Monrovia, MD FTW!!

  • Sarah

    Seems legit. I mean, who can argue with bubble charts?

  • Manda

    “Hon hon hon potuine hon hon hon”

  • hahaha

  • Steve Hickey

    Its sad that our springtime hockey fix has resorted to hoping the Pens choke rather than cheering our team on to the Eastern Conference finals.

  • yeah but we gotta fill the hours somehow

  • yv

    About other recent nemesis. How ironic this could be? Those who laughed on Ovi’s comments about refereeing in MSG maybe will think about this a little more seriously. New England media discussing this topic now and wondering what is a probability that from Caps-NYR game 4, Rangers have 11 straight power plays in MSG to opponents Zero? Forth game tomorrow would be very, very interesting.

  • bskillet

    I don’t know I think they will get to Vocoun before Marc. Neither one will get them the cup, that will be there downfall.

  • laura

    Just so you guys know marc andre fluery has won a Stanley cup for the pens before and he can do it at again I’m a die heart fluery fan and will be til he retires. He has had stress from his new edition to his family and I’m sure his head is back in the game now and is ready for show time… love you fluery I’m cheering for you to be back in goal soon:)

  • Cheyanne k.

    Just gonna take a second to appreciate Monrovia, Maryland love.