Marc-Andre Fleury is now a Vegas Golden Knight. He has had an illustrious career in Pittsburgh as he’s been a part of three different Cup teams.
It’s only fitting to set aside some time to compile a list of, what I believe, are Fleury’s top 10 saves in a Penguins uniform. We start with number ten…
No. 10- Chef Fleury With The Stop
There isn’t a lot to this save. Flyers defenseman Matt Carle winds up for a slap shot outside his offensive zone. It hits Flower right in the chest. He then takes the puck and flips on his stick a few times before gloving it down to be frozen. I included this because it happened in Philadelphia where Fleury has had demons before. It was cool for once to see the Philly crowd booing him as opposed to getting on him for allowing a goal in the building.
No. 9- Kubi-NO
This is ridiculous. Fleury moves from right to left to shut down the Lightning’s Paul Kubina. He spins while kicking his pads up in the air. He gloves it after the pad hits it. It’s too hard to explain. Just enjoy.
No. 8- Don’t Back Down
As Daniel Alfredsson bares down on Fleury during a shootout, Fleury squares him up. Alfredsson should’ve lifted the puck but instead beats Fleury…until he doesn’t. Fleury rolls over on his back and gets his glove hand down before the puck crosses the line. It’s beautiful. So poetic.
No. 7- Saving Blake
Maple Leafs forward Jason Blake had already buried two goals on the night. He just about had a guaranteed third when he carried the puck around Fleury. Somehow, someway, Fleury dived back across the crease and got his glove out to absolutely rob Blake of that third goal. This is number seven. I promise the list is getting even better.
No. 6- No Luck For Atkinson
I’m a huge fan of this goal because of Cam Atkinson being a Columbus Blue Jacket. Fleury softly let the puck squeak through his six hole as he couldn’t hold it to his side. He turned around alertly and fell back swiping the puck away with his stick as it was inches from crossing the goal line. Fleury is a savage.
No. 5- Setting The Tone
Just one piece of the multiple playoff flops by the Washington Capitals, Alex Ovechkin is given a breakaway in the first three minutes of game seven. Fleury, up to the task, calmly follows Ovechkin’s every move and flashes the leather to keep it at 0-0. The Penguins went on to win the game and the Cuo in the following round.
No. 4- Green With Envy
This one is a nifty play on all accounts. Defenseman Mike Green displays some silky mitts by deking in and out of potential defenders. He even had Fleury fooled. Somehow, Fleury reached back and stopped it before Green was able to dispose of it into the back of the net and win the game in overtime. Green’s face went right into his hands in disbelief. Fleury was all smiles. Classic Fleury. Classic Capitals.
No. 3- Flying Fleury
You’ll all remember this one. As the puck flips into the air, Fleury flies backwards and amazingly knocks the puck out of danger while spinning. The puck likely would’ve hit the ground and spun in due to the way the puck was flipping in mid-air. Had Fleury hit the puck any later, it probably would’ve been knocked in. Quality save by your favorite Flower.
No. 2- “OH MY GOODNESS!”
This is my favorite save that Fleury has ever made. Bobby Ryan and Erik Karlsson had just about done what they wanted on the play and Karlsson’s shot looked destined to get to the back of the net. I’m not sure how he did it, but Fleury’s glove stopped it. The puck never crossed the line and, even more amazingly, Fleury’s arm stayed in his socket. It’s probably my favorite save he’s ever made. Number one should be obvious…
No. 1- Lord Stanley, Lord Stanley, Bring Me The Brandy
I don’t think anything will ever have made Fleury more iconic than this. The initial save on Brian Rafalski through traffic was impressive enough. The ensuing save on Nicklas Lidstrom? Legendary. The Penguins hadn’t won a Cup since 1992. That save there was the dagger in the Red Wings attempt to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. Something the Penguins did these past two seasons.
Hopefully you enjoyed the list. Obviously, there were other saves I wanted to put on but were omitted. I leave you with this: Marc-Andre Fleury, you will always be my favorite goalie and human being. While the Penguins are in great hands with Matt Murray, you are part of the puzzle that has helped keep this ship afloat. You will be missed greatly.