The Golden Knights had but one representative at Saturday’s NHL All-Star Game in San Jose. And while you may quibble over the Knights having just one player participate, no one can argue about the validity of the player who was selected.
Marc-Andre Fleury belongs in the All-Star Game and this was his fourth appearance in the event.
More important, Fleury is playing at a very high level. Some would argue his performance to date in 2018-19 ranks among his best since he came into the NHL back in 2003. He is 34 years old. He is feeling great. He leads the NHL with six shutouts. And while the Knights are going to make the playoffs, think of where they might be right now if not for Fleury being able to play the majority of the games?
He has played in 45 of Vegas’ 52 games with a record of 27-14-4. Fleury has a 2.59 goals-against average, a .911 save percentage and the six shutouts.
Yes, there should be some concern come the postseason as to his freshness. Assuming there are no mishaps, he’s looking at playing anywhere from 65 to 70 games in net during this season. But that’s a discussion for down the road.
For now, let’s focus on where Fleury is at and where he is going as it pertains to his overall career.
Today, Fleury has 431 wins in the NHL. That places him ninth on the all-time list for victories as a goaltender. He is six wins from tying Jacques Plante, who has 437. He may also catch Terry Sawchuk, who is No. 7 at 445, later this year.
He has already passed Dominik Hasek, Grant Fuhr, Glenn Hall and Tony Esposito in making his way into the top 10. He is one of three active goaltenders on the Top-10 list — Florida’s Roberto Luongo is fourth with 481 wins and Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers is sixth at 446.
Here is the complete Top-10 list of NHL goaltenders wins:
- Martin Brodeur* — 691 wins
- Patrick Roy* — 551
- Ed Belfour* — 484
- Roberto Luongo — 481
- Curtis Joseph — 454
- Henrik Lundqvist — 446
- Terry Sawchuk* — 445
- Jacques Plante* — 437
- MARC-ANDRE FLEURY — 431
- Tony Esposito* — 423
*Denotes member of Hockey Hall of Fame
Fleury has played against some of these guys. Others he had watched play as a kid growing up in Sorel, Quebec. A couple he had to go to YouTube and Wikipedia to check out. But I thought it would be interesting to get his views on some of the goalies he has passed and some he continues to chase on the list.
I did not ask about Luongo and Lundqvist since they are still active and Fleury has talked about them in the past.
They’re all great players, obviously. They have different styles but they all did the same thing — stop the puck. It’s an honor to be on the (top-10) list. -Marc-Andre Fleury
Let’s start at the top and work our way down.
Martin Brodeur played from 1991-2005 with the New Jersey Devils. He has three Stanley Cup rings. In 17 NHL seasons, he had a 2.01 goals-against average.
I could always see him smile through his mask. I thought that was pretty cool. He was a guy who was very unpredictable. He would use the poke check or stack the pads and I always liked that about him. He was always consistent. He played a lot of games year after year and he was always good. Always very solid. He could read the play so well. He didn’t move so much and he was always in the right spot. –Fleury on Brodeur
Patrick Roy played from 1984-2003 with the Montreal Canadiens and later, the Colorado Avalanche. He has four Stanley Cup titles and had 66 shutouts.
I was a big Montreal fan and I was excited when they won in 1986 and ’93. What comes to mind is he was a fierce competitor. He was always battling. He was very confident and he had that butterfly style and that’s how I learned from him. He was tall for that era but it worked out for him. He was so good for him. He definitely influenced me. -Fleury on Roy
Ed Belfour played from 1988 to 2007. He spent eight years with the Chicago Blackhawks and five with the Dallas Stars. His one Stanley Cup title came with Dallas in 1999. He also played for San Jose, Toronto and Florida.
I got to play against him a bit which was pretty cool. I thought he moved around well for a big goalie. He stayed on his feet and was good at reading the play. He wasn’t hurt much and he played until he was 40, I think. -Fleury on Belfour
Curtis Joseph played from 1989-2009. He spent his career with six different NHL teams, beginning in St. Louis, then with Edmonton, and Toronto. He also had a brief stop in Las Vegas playing with the Thunder in 1995-96 where he appeared in 15 games.