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Tag: Marc-Andre Fleury (Page 1 of 5)

Vezina Candidate Being Outplayed By Conn Smythe Favorite

Hellebuyck had no chance on this one, but the other two… (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Like all sports, NHL award voting takes place before the postseason begins. This season, both the Vegas Golden Knights and Winnipeg Jets have several award nominees. One of which is Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, who was nominated for the Vezina trophy along with Eastern Conference finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy, and amateur golfer Pekka Rinne.

Over four games against Vegas, the Vezina nominee has allowed 11 goals and has lost three straight conference final games. Not the trait of a goaltender of the year candidate. Neither is this.

It’s a great effort by Reilly Smith, that’s clear, however Hellenuyck has to have this one. Dustin Byfuglien misses his mark, Smith jumps on the puck and streaks for the net. Hellebuyck had a clear view of Smith’s approach tracking the puck immediately after the turnover. He had plenty of time to get into position. The Golden Knight pulled the trigger at the top of faceoff circle with a good wrist shot, not a great one. Byfuglien’s mishap began the breakout but the Jets goaltender could’ve bailed his teammate out.

Down a game in the Western Conference finals, a reliable goaltender makes that save. Hellebuyck did not.

And that wasn’t even Hellebuyck’s worst mistake of Game 4. He bobbled a seemingly harmless shot from Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, then allowed a rebound shot through the five-hole on Tomas Nosek.

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Vegas’ Stars Save Third Period Literally And Figuratively

The aftermath of two of the best saves Marc-Andre Fleury made all season. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Unless you are compiling unbelievable saves by Marc-Andre Fleury, the 3rd period of Game 3 will not make any of the Golden Knights highlight reels. Instead, they’ll probably want to find the film and burn it, or at least the first 14 minutes of it.

:18 in the Jets got on the board cutting the lead from 3-2. Then, they spent the next 13:42 harassing Golden Knights defensemen, dominating the neutral zone, and peppering shot after shot after shot on Fleury’s goal.

There was a lot said… It was 3-2 and they kept on pushing us and pushing us and Fleury had to make some great saves. There was a lot of chatter on the bench saying, ‘Let’s get it going here again boys.’ The first two periods we played really good hockey and then it just seemed like we didn’t have any legs in the third period.  -Gerard Gallant

The Golden Knights looked slow and at times timid. They appeared unsure trying to break out of their own zone and were forced to ice the puck six different times in the 3rd period alone. The final stats in the 3rd were staggering. The Jets led 26-15 in shot attempts, 14-7 in shots on goal, and an insane 8-0 in high danger scoring chances according to NaturalStatTrick.com. The score, however, was 1-1, mostly because of Fleury, but also because of a shift that occurred with six minutes to go.

We were flat all period. Around the six minute mark we got a chance, the crowd started getting into it. We started getting our energy back and our legs back. -Brayden McNabb

That chance, which happened at exactly the six minute mark, was a shot off the post from William Karlsson. From that moment on the Golden Knights seemed to get the game back under control. Of course, trailing by a goal the Jets weren’t going to go away, but unlike the first 14 minutes, the Golden Knights had their skating speed back. They were winning to loose pucks, they were breaking out of the zone by passing rather than chipping the puck out, and most of all, they were creating chances in the Winnipeg zone to relieve the pressure.

We calmed down. There were a couple words said on the bench to just relax and breathe. We had that goal lead and there’s no reason to panic. -Shea Theodore

The Golden Knights have always been dubbed a team without a superstar, yet in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, when everything was going wrong, their superstar goalie made 15 saves in the 3rd period to hold a one goal lead, and their superstar center created a chance that turned the tide of the game.

Marc-Andre Fleury Favorite To Win Conn Smythe; Other Betting Odds

Favorite in your heart and favorite at the book. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

With the matchup now set our friends at William Hill have set the lines for the Western Conference Finals.

For the first time in the playoffs, the Golden Knights enter as underdogs to win the series.

Series Price
Vegas Golden Knights +120
Winnipeg Jets -140

Game 1 in Winnipeg tomorrow has the same line with a total of six goals.

Game 1
Vegas Golden Knights +120
Winnipeg Jets -140

Golden Knights Puckline (+1.5 goals) -225
Winnipeg Jets Puckline (-1.5 goals) +195

Over 6 goals +100
Under 6 goals -120

William Hill also offers “exact” series prices, allowing players to pick the winner of the series and the exact number of games they’ll do it in. The Golden Knights actually have one of the favored outcomes in this proposition.

Exact Number of Games in VGK/WPG
Golden Knights in 6 +350
Jets in 7 +350
Golden Knights in 7 +450
Jets in 5 +450
Jets in 6 +500
Golden Knights in 5 +800
Jets in 4 +1200
Golden Knights in 4 +1500

Finally, Marc-Andre Fleury, having recorded his fourth shutout of the postseason, has risen to become the favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy for the most valuable player in the NHL playoffs. The next closest Golden Knight is William Karlsson.

To win Conn Smythe Trophy
Marc-Andre Fleury +450
Nikita Kucherov +500
Andrei Vasilevskiy +550
Alex Ovechkin +550
Mark Scheifele +600
Connor Hellebuyck +700
Brayden Holtby +750
Brayden Point +1200
Blake Wheeler +1500
Patrik Laine +1800
William Karlsson +2000
Steven Stamkos +2000
Jonathan Marchessault +2500
Field +2500
James Neal +4000
Evgeny Kuznetsov +4000
J.T. Miller +6000
T.J. Oshie +6000
Erik Haula 100/1
Reilly Smith 100/1
Kyle Connor 100/1
Nicklas Backstrom 100/1
Victor Hedman 125/1
David Perron 150/1
Nikolaj Ehlers 150/1

All bets are available at any William Hill Sportsbook or on the William Hill Mobile Sports app. For more details click the banner on the top of the site.

Golden Knights Goalie Coach Knew He Could Make Fleury Better, Followed Through

“Dave Prior thought that he can make him an even better goaltender,” and he did. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen) 

Marc-Andre Fleury was the #1 overall pick in the 2003 NHL Draft. He made his debut in the league at the age of 18. He’s posted 12 straight seasons with a save percentage of .905 or better. He’s been named an All Star three times, the same number of times his named is engraved on the Stanley Cup. All of this is a fancy way of saying, Marc-Andre Fleury is really good, and has been really good for a long time.

That’s why when George McPhee said this, it came as quite the shock.

One of the things that appealed to us about bringing (Fleury) in was Dave Prior thought that he can make him an even better goaltender. He was excited, he really advocated for him in our meetings. And thought that he can make him even better than he’s been. -George McPhee

Prior was right, he could, and did, make Fleury better. Fleury posted career highs in save percentage (.927), goals against (2.24), quality start percentage (67.4%), and GSAA (20.77). In his 14th season, he had the best statistical year of his career, and he’s been even better in the playoffs.

He’s helped, definitely. On the ice, I think he changed a few things for me and it’s been working good. -Marc-Andre Fleury

Of course, he wouldn’t go into anything specifically as he “didn’t want to reveal his secrets.” However, a reoccurring theme that’s come up when Prior’s name has been mentioned to Fleury over the course of the season has been a tweak in his mental approach.

I think he’s somebody that wants me to trust in my ability to do things, it doesn’t matter if I had a day off before, if I had morning skate or not. -Fleury

Allow me to read between the lines of how I took that quote, along with other similar ones this season. It seems as if Prior has tried to get Fleury to focus less on practice time and honing his skills, and more on being ready for the games. No one can ever take away the whimsical nature of Fleury, nor would you want to, but it’s possible he was getting in his own head well before the games were ever even played. Fleury has all the skills to be a tremendous goalie in the league and no matter how he fared in off-day practice or morning skate the day of the game, his confidence should never waver.

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Disrespected Flower

This guy is dominating, the Sharks are just afraid to admit it. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In back-to-back games the San Jose Sharks have scored a combined seven goals on Marc-Andre Fleury, all coming in the last two games. So sure, offensively San Jose woke up after Game 1, but they’re still down in the series 2-1.

Over the past two games, Fleury has allowed 7 goals on 89 shots. Add in his shutout from Game 1 and most would say he’s been brilliant. And if you don’t, you will after watching Fleury’s highlight reel save on Logan Couture.

Like I said, brilliant. You’d think the Sharks felt the same but…

He’s a beatable goaltender. At the end of the day, everyone is beatable. Goaltenders are meant to be beat. -Evander Kane, San Jose forward

Obviously, Kane is frustrated. The question was about his third period goal but took a turn to focus on Fleury. Kane has a heavy net presence, so maybe there is a brewing animosity.  When I spoke with Tomas Hertl after Game 2 you would’ve thought they dropped a seven-spot in a game, not a series.

We were screening Fleury, and he didn’t see nothing and that’s why we scored… We showed we can score four goals against Fleury, so they need to think about that now. -Tomas Hertl, San Jose forward

It’s not just these two, you can tell the Sharks are irked. They played arguably their best game of the series but ended up on the wrong side of overtime. Of course, it’s not over, but Wednesday becomes a must-win situation for San Jose. If the Sharks cannot tie and comeback in the series then they’ll only have themselves to blame for stupid penalties, sloppy play, and poor defense.

But hey, why not take it out on the nice guy in net instead.

The Golden Knights Have Never Faced Real Adversity, Because They Stop It Before Comes

He’s basically a superhero. Going around saving doubters from doubting. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

All season long there’s been a running narrative that the Golden Knights are strong at overcoming adversity. The storyline dates back to the Fleury injury and has stuck with the team throughout the season, despite the fact it’s never actually been true.

The Vegas Golden Knights had never experienced real hockey adversity. Sure, they lost their goalie, and then his backup, and then his backup, early in the year and battled through a stretch with Max Lagace in the net, but at no time during it was anything expected of them. There wasn’t real adversity there because there wasn’t any expectation. They’ve never had a truly bad stretch of hockey, they’ve never lost more than three games in a row, and once they rose to 1st place in the division they never lost it. Simply put, they’ve had what may look like hardships, but they’ve never really had a true hardship, one that could legitimately destroy their perfect season.

That was until Game 3. Coming off a crushing loss in Game 2 due to a disallowed goal, the Golden Knights went into the 3rd period in control, leading 3-1. They gave up one, but it looked like the clock was going to run out on the Sharks.

It didn’t.

San Jose scored, tied the game, came back from a two-goal deficit, again, and the Golden Knights season was hanging in the balance. Then it got worse. They were gifted a pair of power plays to begin overtime, and couldn’t score. They had a great chance from James Neal that clanked off the bar. Then they gave up the best chance of the game, and Marc-Andre Fleury (without even really seeing the puck) saved it with his glove.

The potential to lose this game, and control in the series, that was real adversity. But they are the Golden Knights, and how they deal with it is to turn to William Karlsson and let him do his thing, and once again, save them from serious adversity.

I mean, sure, it’s tough, but it’s still a tie game, there’s still a chance to step up in overtime. -William Karlsson

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William Karlsson Named Finalist For Lady Byng Trophy; Snubbed For Selke (Fleury Not A Vezina Finalist Either)

Lady Byng, of course, but not even a Selke finalist? C’mon people, open your eyes. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Award season is nearly upon us and over the course of the next week, we’ll learn the finalists for each of the individual awards. Today, the finalists were released for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy and Vegas Golden Knights forward William Karlsson was among the three named.

The Lady Byng is awarded to the “player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” It’s voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. Usually the trophy is given to the best offensive player who took the least penalty minutes. That’s no different this year as Aleksander Barkov (14 PIM) and Ryan O’Reilly (2 PIM) were named as finalists with Karlsson (12 PIM).

Karlsson should win the award when it’s handed out at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas at the NHL Awards Show on June 20th.

But with the positive news comes some negative news on the awards front. Despite posting some of the best numbers of any goalie in the NHL, Marc-Andre Fleury has not been named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy (best goaltender). The main knock on Fleury was that he missed a large portion of the season and only logged 47 games. However, Fleury had a better goals against average (2.24) and a better save percentage (.927) than any of the three finalists. Connor Hellebuyck, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and Pekka Rinne are the finalists.

The bigger snub, however, is William Karlsson in the Selke Award for best defensive forward. Karlsson was not listed among the three finalists and when the ballots are made public we will see that Karlsson is not even among the top five on many ballots, including voters from Las Vegas. We’ve already talked about Karlsson’s 12 PIM, but when you throw in his +49 rating, the fact that he and his linemates played against the opposition’s top line every game, and Karlsson’s ability on the penalty kill, and it’s hard to believe anyone would leave him off their list.

The Athletic’s Charlie O’Connor wrote an extended story making the case for Sean Couturier to win the Selke. In doing so, he proved the incredible year Karlsson had as well. It’s an incredibly in-depth article, but it does a tremendous job of going beyond the standard stats to show the candidacies of each of the top Selke finalists.

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Rest And Relaxation; What To Do With These Final Three Games

“You’ve got to trust your players.” -Gallant on resting guys down the stretch (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights have clinched a playoff berth and they’ve won the Pacific Division. With that comes a guarantee of home-ice in the first two series with just the Western Conference and Stanley Cup Finals seeding up for grabs.

Vegas currently sits second in the Western Conference and fourth in the NHL. They likely aren’t catching Nashville, Boston, or Tampa, and only have to fend off Winnipeg to hang on to the fourth position. However, even if Winnipeg passes the Golden Knights, the only impact it could have is if those two teams face in the Western Conference Finals. So, the Golden Knight essentially have three games that mean little to nothing in the scope of the season.

You’ve got stay fresh, you’ve got to make sure you are ready to go. It’s been a long season for some guys and we’ve had some maintenance days and that’s all part of the business going through. You trust your players to do the right things. Some guys need some practice and need some jump and some guys need some days off. -Gerard Gallant

The Golden Knights have multiple injured players, Reilly Smith, Luca Sbisa, William Carrier, and David Perron that could use the games to get back into game form. They have a college free agent in Zach Whitecloud who has never hit the NHL ice, and they have 11 players who have played in 70 or more games this season.

 GPTOIATOI
Colin Miller79153019:22
William Karlsson79147818:42
Cody Eakin78112614:26
Deryk Engelland76154020:16
Jonathan Marchessault76133317:33
Nate Schmidt75166722:14
Alex Tuch75113615:09
Erik Haula74128917:25
Brayden McNabb73146720:06
David Perron70124717:49
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare7085712:15

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Marc-Andre Fleury Injury Update

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

UPDATE: (3/22/18 12:28 PM)

UPDATE: (3/22/18 10:58) – Fleury and Reilly Smith skated at City National Arena this morning for about 30 minutes. Fleury was not wearing his goalie gear and he he Smith were stick handling and shooting at empty nets.

UPDATE: (3/22/18 10:30 AM) – Multiple sources have confirmed Marc-Andre Fleury did go through concussion protocol Tuesday night. He passed protocol but was not inserted back in the game as a precautionary measure.

The team still does not believe he suffered a concussion but remain cautious. Fleury is not with the team in San Jose. They have yet to rule out having him join the team in Denver.

It remains unclear when he may return but the concern that it could be season ending is considered minimal.

UPDATE (3/21/18 5:55 PM) – Oscar Dansk has been recalled by the Golden Knights. He will join the team in San Jose tomorrow. This confirms Fleury will miss at least one game.

UPDATE (3/21/18 1:03 PM)

ORIGINAL STORY

Following the 1st period of the Golden Knights game against the Vancouver Canucks, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was removed from the game due to what is believed to be an injury.

I haven’t heard nothing yet. Trainers told me he’s not coming back tonight. That’s it. -Gerard Gallant

Fleury did not return to the bench the remainder of the game.

He did take a shot to the mask with approximately 10:00 minutes left in the period on the play shown below. The trainers did not examine Fleury at that time nor did they during the TV timeout that followed about four minutes later.

No, I have no idea. I thought it hit him, caught him in the chin. Either the cheek or chin. Hopefully he’s alright. Not sure if that had anything to do with it. Hopefully, it’s nothing with the head. -Brandon Sutter (Vancouver player who took the shot)

Multiple sources have confirmed to SinBin.vegas that Fleury was being examined for a head injury, likely following concussion protocol.

Fleury suffered a concussion in the Golden Knights fourth game of the season on October 13th. He missed 25 games during that stretch.

How And When Marc-Andre Fleury Was Credited With The First Goalie Assist In Team History

Flower is a point machine! (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Marc-Andre Fleury has been a part of a lot of firsts for the Vegas Golden Knights. He was the first to record a win, first to take a penalty, and the first to do pretty much everything else goalies can do except for record a shutout (Oscar Dansk stole that one from him). Quietly, and with a little help from a teammate, he also became the first goalie to be credited an assist in a Golden Knights game.

It happened on February 23rd, the last time the Vancouver Canucks came to T-Mobile Arena. Here’s the play.

Fleury kicked the save out to the boards. There’s a board battle in which Jon Merrill shielded the Canucks player away from the puck, however, neither Merrill nor Thomas Vanek gained possession of the puck. The next to touch it was David Perron who fired it up to Tomas Nosek. The rest is history.

Initially, only one assist was awarded because the scorekeepers must have believed Vanek got the puck, but looking closely that never happened.

So, Fleury should have earned the assist as he was the last to touch it, but it wasn’t until a fellow Golden Knight went out of his way to challenge the ruling that the first ever goalie assist became official.

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