April 20, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) dives to cover the puck after a save against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period in game five of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals at CONSOL Energy Center. The Pens won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Penguins goalie Marc-André Fleury should play poker

French-Canadian sportsman Marc-André Fleury might be best known for being a professional ice hockey goaltender for the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning the Stanley Cup championship with the team in 2009.

He might be one of the most impressive goalies that this team has seen, but as an integral part of the Penguins, there is always room from improvement.

Many sporting professionals claim to pick up useful transferable skills by playing completely different games, such as poker. With this in mind, here is a look at what Fleury could gain from swapping his pads for a stack of poker chips.

Poker professionals often claim to base their decisions on instinct. When the odds appear to be stacked against them, it often seems that players who follow their gut feelings are those who finish in the money, whether playing in live tournaments or online – a game wherein we could make a case that skill is much more important than luck as opposed to playing FoxyBingo or perhaps roulette.

This is certainly a skill which Fleury himself will have already worked to improve. In both games, the moves made by your opponents can be entirely unpredictable, but being able to trust your instincts can prove to be an extremely valuable skill.

Poker players often seek to mislead or intimidate their opponents to throw them off guard during in a tournament – much like goalies. Fleury’s goaltender masks feature the decorative fleur-de-lis on the backplate (which is particularly symbolic in French heraldry) and he often goes by the nickname of “Flower” (a translation of his French last name), but he’ll do well to maintain a tough image if he wants to be able to intimidate opposition attackers as they go for a goal.

Playing poker could be the perfect way to practice such his scare tactics – something which could certainly come in handy in net.

Tags: Hockey Marc-Andre Fleury Off-topic

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