The Pittsburgh Penguins are off to an absolutely fantastic start this season. At this point, although it’s early, it looks as though they could run away with the no. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, while Sidney Crosby runs away with every scoring title en route to a Hart Trophy as well. Yet, a key piece of this team has become quite overlooked.
There was a great deal of buzz as to whether or not the Penguins would look to move Marc-Andre Fleury this past summer. Some teams reportedly did inquire as to his availability, but the Penguins elected to hold onto the veteran netminder despite a couple of years of absolutely disastrous performances in the postseason.
It was pretty clear when the season began that Fleury was heading into a make-or-break season. He got a bit of added security when Tomas Vokoun went down with his issues related to a blood clot, meaning that until he’s able to return, the Penguins are stuck with Fleury. Plenty of time for him to reintroduce himself to Pittsburgh.
Early on in the season, he’s done just that. Fleury has been one of the best goaltenders anywhere in the league here in the early going, helping the Penguins get off to their fantastic start. He’s made eight starts on the year thus far, and has only surrendered more than two goals twice, but still managed to get a win in each of those tilts.
Fleury’s overall numbers on the season feature a fantastic 1.74 goals against average and a .930 save percentage. He started the year off on a seven-game win streak and has posted a 7-1 record overall, including one shutout. In other words, it looks like he’s bounced back.
Of course, it’s a very small sample size. He’ll have to prove it not only over the long haul, but especially in the postseason as well. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the year plays out for MAF, but the foundation has been laid for what could be a fantastic season for him.