There won't be a dry eye in the house tonight when goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury makes his return to Pittsburgh, a city that he called home for the last 14 years. The Golden Knights (35-13-4) are in town to take on the Penguins (29-22-4) with puck drop and tears set for just after 7PM from PPG Paints Arena.
The Golden Knights are currently second in the league in points with 74, trailing only the Tampa Bay Lightning. Enough about the Knights though, this is Marc-Andre Fleury's night. Fleury, now the face of the Golden Knights franchise, will return to a place where it all began for him. For the first time in 14 years, he'll walk into the visitor's locker room in Pittsburgh. We all know that first television timeout is going to be rough. You have to think, the Penguins gave Derrick Pouliot...YES DERRICK POULIOT... a tribute video. Fleury spent the last 14 seasons in Pittsburgh, was a vital part of three Stanley Cups, and leads the Penguins franchise in numerous goaltending categories. There shouldn't be a dry eye in the house, whether you were Team Murray or Team Fleury in the end, tonight is going to be special.
Here's a brief list of Fleury's accolades with the Penguins:
-375 wins (most in franchise history)
-44 shutouts (most in franchise history)
-62 playoff wins (most in playoff history)
-10 playoff shutouts (most in playoff history)
Fleury's career save percentage with the Penguins was .912 with a career goals against average registering 2.55. That's a pretty solid career.
Lost in the stats and the Stanley Cups was the fact that Marc-Andre Fleury was also a world-class human. Fleury knew his time was up and that the Penguins were going to leave him unprotected in the expansion draft. Despite knowing his time would soon be up here, Fleury continued to mentor Matt Murray as well as continued being a humanitarian on and off the ice as well. In fact, one of Fleury's last acts as a Penguin was building a playground for the Sto-Ken-Rox Boys and Girls Clubs in McKees Rocks. "He deserves every bit of the recognition he gets. He's an awesome guy, an awesome goalie," Matt Murray said (per The Athletic).
Fleury's already beat the Penguins once this year, stopping 24/25 shots in a 2-1 win back on December 14th.
Last Thursday, Evgeni Malkin was named First Star of the Month for January.
This past week, he was named the NHL's First Star of the Week.
In three games, Malkin tallied six goals and two assists.
Patric Hornqvist is week-to-week, per Head Coach Mike Sullivan.
Zach Aston-Reese is expected to see a decent amount of time in front of the net on that first power play unit
This is Brooks Orpik's fault. Brooks Orpik sucks.
Remember Fleury's save on Nicklas Lidstrom in the final seconds of 2009? What a moment.
Tom Kuhnhackl on a line with Malkin, it almost makes me miss Conor Sheary. Just kidding.
Casey DeSmith was sent back down to Wilkes-Barre and Tristan Jarry was recalled. Who cares.
It's going to be unreal when Crosby scores his 400th goal on Marc-Andre Fleury tonight and we all cry.
Remember Fleury's breakaway save on Alex Ovechkin in Game 7 back in 2009? Or when he beat the Caps again in Game 7 just last year.
Phil Kessel missed practice yesterday because there were a bunch of annoying kids there. He'll play tonight.
Remember when Fleury hoisted the Stanley Cup for his third (and final) time with the Penguins. He then passed it to Matt Murray, much like passing off a torch (or baton if you're a Flyers fan). What a moment.
Try not to cry. I'm already crying.
Video courtesy of LegacyFilms
Thank you, MAF.
Old Posts from our site, heyyyyyfannnssss (4/11-2/15). Cute name, but impossible to remember.