Game number 33 of the 2017-18 Pittsburgh Penguins season takes us to a place we haven't been to before. T-Mobile Arena in beautiful Las Vegas. The Penguins (16-13-3, 35 pts) make their first and only trip (pending playoffs) to Vegas to take on the newest NHL team, the Vegas Golden Knights (19-9-2, 40 pts).
Pittsburgh has lost three outta the last four after a nice little fourgame winning streak. Having just finished up their longest homestead of the season, the Pens hit the road for a quick 3 game West Coast swing (VGK, ARI, COL). Some news surrounding the Penguins came out in recent days with General Manager Jim Rutherford (GMJR) admitting he is considering make at least 1 major trade to shake things up on the Penguins roster. Its widely known that the Pens need to upgrade their 3rd and 4th lines, particularly the Center positions. The defense has been a rough area all season, and it didn't get any better the other day when Justin Schultz was placed on IR and will be out at least week-to-week. That leads me to this. One of the worst kept secrets in the NHL is that Ottawa Senators Defenseman Erik Karlsson isn't going to be a Senator for much longer. The team isn't good and he won't resign with them at a discounted rate. Naturally, with the Pens defense struggling, and GMJR being known for making splashy trades (Phil Kessel), that has lead to speculation that the Pens are going to go get Karlsson. But, there isn't any evidence to point to that happening yet. If it does happen, look for the Pens to trade Kris Letang to clear the cap space and make room for Karlsson.
As for the Vegas Golden Knights, they have been the feel good story of the NHL this season. With new draft rules for Expansion teams this go around, the NHL made it easier for the Golden Knights to be better quicker. And that they are. Vegas is off to an outstanding start with 19 wins, and are on their way to a winning season. They have rode the backs of a few former Penguins, James Neal, David Perron, and Deryk Engelland. While the have clicked on offense all season, they have have solid goaltending all season long, despite having injuries to their top 3 goalies and having used 5 overall! Maxime Legace, Malcom Subban (PK's Brother) and Oscar Dansk have all held down the INTERIM starting role while their starting goalie recovered from a concussion. That goalie would be 3-time Stanley Cup Champion and former Pittsburgh Penguin, Marc-Andre Fleury.
Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to be in net tonight to make his first career start against his former team. Fleury, the face of the franchise in Vegas was off to a great start, showing he still can start and carry an NHL team at 33 years old. Fleury was off to a 3-1-0 start when he was run over and suffered a concussion and missed the next 2 months. He returned to the net Tuesday where he suffered the loss in the shootout. Overall, Fleury (still wearing #29) is 3-1-1 with a solid GAA of 2.35. It will be strange and weird to us here at POA, as well as all true Pens fans, as well as his former teammates to see MAF saving shots against us instead of for us. If you Pens fans are excited for seeing this, i have 3 words for you...Wait Till February.
On to the starting Lineups and Refs...
**Scouting the Refs sucks, I'm sure they won't update the refs, so we won't update the refs. Deal with it.**
I miss Marc-Andre Fleury
The only bad thing about the Golden Knights is their Twitter feed, yeah it's absolute AIDS.
I didn't put that, another writer did. I love their Twitter feed.
Marc-Andre Fleury is the greatest goalie the Penguins have ever had.
Think back, Fleury almost was a Florida Panther. Boy does Florida wish they could do that deal over again.
Fleury played in 691 games as a Penguin. His record was 375-216-68.
He recorded 44 shutouts, including a league high 10 in the 2014-15 NHL season.
Fleury had 14 points (all assists) in his time with the Pens. He also managed to rack up 56 PIMS.
Two things he never did...score a goal, but he did try many many times. And he never got into a goalie fight, like Brent Johnson. He did take out the knees of a lot of the players screening him.
TBQH, I am a somewhat big time Vegas fan, mostly because of Fleury.
Vegas should be known as Penguins west since they have 4 former Pens.
Surprisingly, Fleury isn't the highest paid Golden Knight. Reilly Smith holds that title of all players.
Marc-Andre, we miss you and we love you. Come back home. And bring Jagr with you.
Video courtesy of Legacy Films.
Video courtesy of SportsNet.
Photo courtesy of the Post-Gazette.
Thank You, MAF.
Old Posts from our site, heyyyyyfannnssss (4/11-2/15). Cute name, but impossible to remember.