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Pacioretty Calls Fleury The “Heart and Soul” Of The Team And Organization

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Tonight against the St. Louis Blues, the Golden Knights will be without their leader. Sure, Mark Stone will be in the lineup but he’s not the only captain on the team. Marc-Andre Fleury will miss some unexpected time after being placed on the NHL’s COVID list yesterday afternoon. Not only will Vegas be without their star goaltender, but without their “heart and soul” as well.

Indescribable how much that guy means to our team. On and off the ice. It’s really nice to see him get rewarded this year with amazing performances this far. -Max Pacioretty to NBC Sports during 3/10 game

Teammate Max Pacioretty shared his feelings about his goaltender during an interview with NBC Sports during the last Golden Knights game. His comments almost sounded like a reminder to any of the Fleury doubters from last season. Pacioretty didn’t need to convince teammates, and certainly not the Golden Knights the fans. The city adores Fleury, and not only because he occasionally treats them to a dozen donuts.

This season has gone relatively smooth on the ice for the Golden Knights, but off the ice it’s been a bit hectic. Fleury joins several other teammates to be placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list this season. When the team’s schedule was previously interrupted, no one was as sharp as the 36-year-old goaltender. Off a long layoff or playing a back-to-back, Fleury settled down the Golden Knights with his confidence, consistency, and reliability. Which is somewhat surprising, considering his role was undetermined to begin the season.

But it’s way beyond that. He’s the heart and soul of this team, of this organization and we’re just so happy to have a guy like that. -Pacioretty to NBC Sports during 3/10 game

As a former NHL captain, Pacioretty can identify and understands what it’s like to be a leader. His acknowledgment of Fleury’s importance suggests that they weren’t even sure what to expect, especially coming off a postseason and offseason of uncertainty. The goaltender didn’t know where he stood with the organization, but he knew where he stood with his teammates, which is one of the reasons why he’s so respected. Even in a mountain of confusion, Fleury shed the outside distractions and performed like a number one goalie. It’s subtle, but that’s leadership.

When I look back at my career he’s going to be one of those guys you’re just thankful you’re able to come to the rink everyday and be around. -Pacioretty to NBC Sports during 3/10 game

Not only will Pacioretty, other current and former teammates look back and be thankful for Fleury but so will the fans. In hockey, things tend to work themselves out. Thankfully, everything worked in net and Fleury’s back to leading his team on and off the ice.

Tonight though, Vegas will have to do it without their heart and soul.

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6 Comments

  1. Larry

    I know many will say we’re in trouble now! As long as MAF and family stay healthy, it’s a WIN in my book!
    Now, you young guns and not so young guns, get ready to show the NHL what “Vegas Strong” means! Go Knights Go

  2. Julie

    I have no doubt about the sentiments Pacioretty expressed about Fleury. It’s obvious they all care a great deal for Fleury and I suspect it was quite an unnerving situation last season during the playoffs to watch how PDB and management treated Fleury. Even Nate Schmidt upon leaving said it was hard in the locker room. Fleury has said he loves playing with these guys too. It’s so obvious that you would have to be blind not to see it.

    And the way Fleury taught PDB, management, naysayers, even SinBin a lesson for how they treated him – by showing them they were all wrong, well, that’s as much vintage Fleury as one of his spectacular saves.

    As for covid-19, this protocol nonsense needs to stop. With where we are now, the options available, knowing who is actually vulnerable, it’s time to move forward. Unless Fleury is sick, this isolation stuff is insane. I do find it ironic that PDB said he pulled Fleury last game to let him off for the last 10 minutes because he would be playing Fri and Sat. And now he’s out for what, 2 weeks?

  3. Christina Hutt

    This is such an important interview and its good to hear that the team feels the same way we do. Its not Robin Lehner’s fault. Its not MAF fault. Its DeBoer and McCrimmon’s fault that there was such outrage. With all the outside noise, MAF put his heart and soul into getting us wins.

  4. Miri.

    Thanks, Jason, for the article. I think that Patches is one of the more thoughtful players, among a number of thoughtful players on the team. Appreciate you taking the time to present his sentiments in this matter.

    A number of players have had to miss a game or two because of Covid protocol. Let’s hope that it’s not any longer than this for Flower. If so, it’s possible that he might come back better than ever, as this will give him a short rest and a chance to return fresh. Let us hope.

  5. Julie

    I hear it was a false positive and Fleury is free!!!!

  6. Tom McCarthy

    I agree with Max what I wonder as if management really values his Talent

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