Marc Andre Fleury makes his return to Pittsburgh tonight with the Western Conference leading Vegas Golden Knights in town.
It’s going to be an emotional night for Fleury who you can bet wants to put on a show.
If Derrick Pouliot got a tribute video from the organization, I think there’s a chance we’ll see a Fleury tribute video tonight…….
[hide] Video Via @Penguins:
Mario: “Should be fun tonight!”
Fleury: “A little weird, maybe. Hopefully the fans don’t throw too many tomatoes (laughs).” pic.twitter.com/PxMwqo0iXr
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 6, 2018
What an ovation it’s going to be.
Penguins All-Time Wins Leaders
1. Marc-Andre Fleury – 375
2. Tom Barrasso – 226
3. Ken Wregget – 104
4. Denis Herron – 88
5. J.S. Aubin – 63
6. Matthew Murray – 58
7. Les Binkley – 58
8. Greg Millen – 57
9. Roberto Romano – 46
10. Johan Hedberg – 46
The all-time Penguins leader in wins, Fleury’s popularity skyrocketed in his final season as a Penguin in how he handled the situation of no longer being the No. 1 goaltender and got a banged up Penguins team missing Kris Letang and their starting goaltender to the third round.
If you breakdown Fleury’s greatest moments during his Penguins career, his performance in Game 7 against the Capitals last spring is right up there as one of the best based on the circumstances, pressure situation.
Mike Sullivan said it best yesterday when discussing Fleury:
“Marc was such a professional in how he handled the whole thing,” said Sullivan. “I know I can speak for myself, and tell you how appreciative I am of how professional he was. There were a couple tough conversations and those conversations might’ve been the hardest I’ve had as a coach. He’s just a great player. He’s a great person and he’s a great teammate.”
Starting with Fleury’s benching during the 2013 playoffs to Murray supplanting him as the No. 1 goaltender three years later, it really is something how Fleury never reached a boiling point and demanded a trade.
Fleury’s love of the Logo, Pittsburgh and his teammates saw him just show up to work everyday as the same person he always is, whether he was the starter or not. Fleury was so popular in that room and how we never saw a locker room become divided or such is also a testament to Fleury the person in how he handled everything.
Fleury’s run as a Penguin is a fascinating one when you look back, especially the years after the first Cup. There was a lot of up’s but also some down’s.
His popularity and how important he was in the room might have prolonged his Penguins career a bit, and let’s be honest the media coverage from an on-ice standpoint was sometimes more favorable than it should have been towards Fleury because of how great a person he is and engaging he is with the media.
If Fleury had Tom Barrasso’s personality, would the Vegas Golden Knight’s had selected him and made him the early face of their franchise?
Being a great role model, teammate is what makes Fleury so unique.
The lack of trade market for Fleury last season was understandable because of the salary/age and there are comparable goaltenders at lesser contracts on the market. The Penguins didn’t receive one offer from the start of last season through the trade deadline.
But, maybe Fleury should have been more valued from certain teams in the goaltending market because of other factors he brings to the table.
I think Carolina missed a golden opportunity to bring Fleury into their room and put him behind that young group for the next several seasons. Looking back the Islanders should have also been all-in on Fleury. Fleury has a ton of experience of forwards/D leaving him out to dry. That would have been a natural fit and selling John Tavares to stay would have been a tad easier if you had something resembling a capable veteran goaltender.
At the end of the day Fleury didn’t get the story book ending of being the winning goaltender in the Stanley Cup last June, but it was certainly close to one in how he elevated his play last post-season and everybody has won with how things played out.
Not to mention Fleury’s legend in Pittsburgh has grown since last April.
Once Fleury left Pittsburgh he wanted to go to a place he could stay long-term and not bounce around.
In Vegas, Fleury was initially always looked at as a potential trade piece in a year or so, but that certainly isn’t the case now where Vegas is not a normal expansion team.
Fleury has played great this season for Vegas with a 1.84 GAA and .939 SV% in 21 games. With how popular Fleury is already in Vegas, a major presence in the local community as Fleury and his wife do great things with the youth and local charities, it will be a shock if he doesn’t get somewhere around a two-three year extension this summer, even though he would be 35 when the extension (2019-2020) kicks in.
STANLEY CUP PREVIEW?
While all of the buzz is on Marc Andre Fleury’s return, tonight could also be a Stanley Cup Preview, as crazy as it might sound.
I doubt it but it certainly could happen.
You breakdown the Golden Knights roster and this shouldn’t be the case, but Vegas has put enough on tape where they are a serious contender in the West.
They lead the West with 74 points and the playoffs are obviously a near lock. Vegas could go 9-19-2 over their final 30 games and still hit the 94 point mark (playoff odds of over 50%). That’s how good they have been.
This is a team that’s four lines deep, plays a relentless puck pursuit game and what is special with them is how much this group seems to love to play for each other and their coach.
Everything Vegas does is still a long-term view as it should be but this is different.
They should be looking to add and really going for it. I think George McPhee owes it to this group.
Not mortgaging first round picks but certainly diving in the rental market a bit to add to the team where you don’t lose sleep in trading a second or third rounder.
This team is unique in how systematically good they are under Gerard Gallant.
Reasons to also add is that the Pacific Division is down this season.
San Jose is not the same team from two years ago and the same with the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks.
There’s a real opportunity for Vegas to get through the first two rounds.
Some scouts I hear from believe Vegas will finally get exposed early in the playoffs during a seven game series because they lack those key ingredients of a franchise type center/defenseman, but in the Pacific there’s no gauntlet like the Central Division where the Predators, Blues and Jets are scary good and have to go through each other. To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!
Wait, there was a Pouliot tribute? Did zero arrange for that.
I did, they were all highlights from the one game we disagreed on your claim of him being a trainwreck in 😉
So it was also short…
lol scum sully might be one of my favorite things to read on here.
Murray was great tonight Simply. What’s your hot take? What’s going on in Oakland since the Super Bowl? People are waiting for more useless updates. #insultposting
Murray was great? You have a low bar.
Did Murray bang your Mom or something? Dude you have such a hard on for him.
Simply Dusty and Sam suck.
What a game, MAF was solid but not as good as Murray… story of Sams life. Kessel and Malkin really bailed out the team. Schultz overall was better then Letang while both went scoreless but Schultz was a+.
I mean hey, Vegas is clearly the better hockey team not full of high priced poweplay specialists that out scored them 5v5 but hey…
Wasn’t a usual night for fleury but was a typical night for Murray pens needed 5 in order to win for him
Bahahahaha… really? MAF loses and you have the nerve! What a stupid fucken racist cunt
Regardless of how the game ends I really want Letang to get that assist Sam said he had an hour ago
On that note Letang is a -1 while Schultz is a +1
Look at the defensive play by Schultz as Letang does fuckk all
Oh my… Sams call is still in play but I got a point in my big pool… I’m divided
Vegas playing a great team game. Really showing the Pens the blueprint for winning hockey.
Yeah they must suckk real bad that they are ahead in the standings if you compare to the pens
No comparison, Pens have won 2 straight cups…
Pens started slow. I think the back to back Stanley Cups Champs were tired for some reason…
Yeah, it’s not like they are the ones shooting it or anything, dumba$$.
3 delay of games talk about luck for vegas
Maybe it’s cuz of all that “real hockey” forechecking you don’t often see with overpaid power play specialist
Geno to kessel 5v5. Haha! Chubster is reaching for some hot dogs to scuff.
Malkin and Geno hooking up again….
I don’t even need to shit on Sid here because of that so… holy fuck was that last Crosby shift unreal!
And KESSEL! Aaaahahahahahahahhahahahahaha
A russian, a black guy, and 2 Americans have scored tonight.
Get lost fatso
He can stay, that was hilarious because it’s all the people you hate the most
Reaves best pens player tonight
Tip of the hat to Reaves, best game he’s played as a Penguin this game! Maybe it’s the West
Reaves gave the momentum for the pens tonight that hit and his goal was there game changed. Before that pens were sleeping
Geno, another 5v5 goal. Knights need 5 to win. How about it, chubster?
As soon as Geno scorer he closed his Tv and is currently nuzzling his MAF Knights T-Shirt sobbing into it
He Sam, you see that… Kessel and Malkin hooking up for a goal?
Knights need 5 to win… if MAF is gonna look better than Murray by the end of this game he’s gonna have to start making stops
MAF is back
Vegas needs at least 4 to win
Sams in rare form tonight, he has fucked up pretty much everything he’s attempted lol
You guys think Yoda saw fleury poke check on malkin.
Do you think he saw that third goal?
How does Fleury look, chubster?
By end of the game he will look. Better then Murray
Sam needs an account on the inside of Vegas sports… he’s such a huge Knights fan.
No I dont need to.
most probably Yoda is there already bashing fleury 24/7. I saw him here quite enough no need to follow him there
Ya but you’re The Murray yoda here…
Sid and letang suckss while both have nice assists tonight
What goal did Letang assist on? You suck so bad lol
Haha, look at the big grin on MAF lol!
While Schultz and Murray shitting in their pants what a back checked by sid hope you bad the chance to see it zerotool
You can’t even do game commentary without getting beat to the punch by a month lol
Lol he’s such a clown.
Talking about Schultz how is he doing this year mr tool since you are busy shiting about letang all year
Letangs making almost 2 and a half million more… that’s why expectations are higher you fucken moron
What a play by Crosby!
Okay, that’s gold lol.
Letang is so frustrating to watch anymore.
Classless move by pens making fleury emotional so they can get his concentration off and get back in the game. I’m sure scum sully has some thing to do with it
That was before the puck dropped you stupid fuckk lol
Anyone turned off their TV yet
Nice job for our Russian another offensive zone penalty
Need to grab 4 points out of these next 3 games. If we lose, hopefully we can still take it to OT. Seems like all of our losses come in regulation and stealing a couple points against West teams would help immensely..
They should put Letang on the plane after the game and send him to Vegas
Few names pens should look staal and plekanec
Look at chubster drooling
Very rare a player is loved extreamly by 2 organization. Fan base at the same time
D some of your best writing. Nice article. I’ll be there tonight to honor the Flower. Class act.
Sam still sucks.
Yes class act fleury he is a true Canadian that plays for the logo and not for the name behind his jersey first.
Coming from the guy that literally cheers for about 5 guys on the team tops…
Vegas will never make it to the finals
Yo yo yo yoda
Going to be a high emotion game tonight. Class act and badly missed. Too bad things went the way they did with the expansion rules and early emergence of Murray. Good to see him doing well, just hope he doesnt do so well tonight 😉
Agree on all points. Are you surprised Sprong is not up for Hornquist or Sheary? Also, what about Eric Staal for the right price. Last I saw he had 22 goals and a 3M+ contract (which when pro-rated we can probably fit him in with a little maneuvering or ask that they keep some salary).