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Fleury a Good Sport After All-Star Game

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

After allowing seven goals in his period of play (the second) in Sunday’s All-Star Game – which ended up setting a new record for combined goals in a game with 29 in Team Toews’ 17-12 win over Team Foligno, breaking the previous one of 26 set in 2001 – Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was asked if he bet on the over.

“Maybe I did,” Fleury responded with a devilish grin. “Who knows?”

Fleury joked Friday that All-Star weekend wasn’t for the goalies, and he was right as they all got shelled due to the overall lack of defense in the game. The six poor souls between the pipes faced plenty of breakaways, odd-man rushes and players left uncovered in the slot, crease and circles – Fleury especially.

“It was a slow period. It felt like forever,” said Fleury, who was drafted by the hometown Team Foligno on Friday. “I think after 10 minutes, it was six goals in already. I was like, that’s a tough one (laughs).”

Fleury’s known for being a cheerful, friendly guy who always has a smile on his face, and he was an incredible sport about it all. But don’t let that big grin fool you. He’s also very competitive, so Fleury admitted he wasn’t totally thrilled about his night.

“I was getting a little mad,” Fleury said. “You want to have some fun, but when you’re a goalie, it’s frustrating when it goes in. I laughed for a few, but a few of them, I cringed a little bit."

The fans in Columbus didn’t make it any easier on him, as they alternated between boos and Bronx cheers (which is a sarcastic cheer when a player completes a routine task). But at the end of the day, Fleury has the last laugh.

“That’s a good thing because we beat them in the playoffs last year, so I guess that’s why,” Fleury said. “Other than getting booed and cheered for nothing, it was a good weekend. I had some fun hanging out with the guys. To be on the ice with them was fun.”

Fleury gave a lot of credit to his teammates for helping him get to this point, saying they played a big part in him being here. When asked if his appreciation for them has reached a whole new level after Sunday’s outing, another big smile spread across Fleury’s face.

“Yes, very much,” he said. “It was a tough one, that’s for sure.”

And now that the All-Star festivities have officially concluded, Fleury is looking forward to returning to Pittsburgh and turning his focus back onto the Penguins.

They earned a point in their last two games heading into the All-Star break, coming up with incredible efforts against the Flyers and Blackhawks. But overall, they’ve lost their last four. Fleury thinks the four days off for his teammates will be incredibly beneficial, as they look to get back on track starting Tuesday at home against Winnipeg.

“We had a good start, we had so many injuries, the mumps around the team, so it was a little crazy,” Fleury said. “I don’t know if that was tough on guys, but it just seems lately we have been hitting a rough patch. So I think this break will be good and I’m sure everybody will come back fresh and ready to finish off on a good note.”

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