Inconsistency once prevented the Penguins' Marc-Andre Fleury from becoming an elite goalie.

Things can change quickly.

In a troubling year in which Penguins stars have sustained major injuries, Fleury has become the team's rock. There might not be a more consistent goalie in hockey, and without Fleury's steadiness, the injury-ravaged Penguins may have long ago lost their way.

"It's unbelievable because of how young he is," defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "People don't understand what he's done, how young he was when he won the Cup. Goalies usually just start to come into their own at his age."

Fleury turned 27 last month. His next victory will be the 200th of his career. Such a pace is usually reserved for those destined for the Hockey Hall of Fame.

His accomplishments — and youthful age, especially for a goaltender — are difficult to ignore.

"It's a little early to be wondering about the Hall of Fame for a guy that's presumably got many, many years left before he hangs them up," ESPN hockey analyst Scott Burnside told the Tribune-Review on Wednesday. "Of course, if he rolls up a few more Cup wins, maybe the conversation won't be that far in the distance."