Marc-Andre Fleury putting together a stunning turnaround

NBCSN’s protection of the 2020-21 NHL season continues with Sunday’s match in between the Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights. Golden Knights-Kings stream protection starts at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can view the video game online and on the NBC Sports app by click on this link.

If you’re not somebody who holds on to specific concepts like “Carey Price is the best goalie in the world, no matter what,” then you’re continuously tweaking your list of the NHL’s elite. And, if you’ve had any experience attempting to find some sort of pattern from everything, you may concur that “goalies are voodoo.”

Yet, individuals who think that “goalies are voodoo” need to be a little shocked by the flat-out radiance of Marc-Andre Fleury this season.

Marc-Andre Fleury: playing a few of the very best hockey of his profession

In PHT’s midseason awards, Andrei Vasilevskiy controlled the Vezina discussion, however Marc-Andre Fleury’s name showed up more than as soon as.

Heading into Sunday’s Golden Knights – Kings video game, Marc-Andre Fleury sports a 16-5-0 record with a remarkable .933 save portion. It will be difficult for MAF to sustain that conserve portion — much better than his profession peak of .927 from that wonderful very first Golden Knights season — however that shouldn’t eliminate from how extraordinary he’s remained in 2020-21.

Fleury’s numbers look incredible whether you go easier, or dig much deeper. Via Evolving Hockey, Fleury’s 3 wins-above-replacement rank 3rd in the league this season, routing just Vasilevskiy (4.1) and Thatcher Demko (4). The distinction in between 3rd (MAF, 3) and 4th Cal Petersen (2.5) is noteworthy too.

In Hockey Referral’s variation of Goals Saved Versus Average, Marc-Andre Fleury is 2nd at 14.97, with Demko a remote 2nd (10.83), and Vasilevskiy in very first (15.83).

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It’s all quite shocking things. And it’s hard to discuss why, a minimum of if you’re looking for something more considerable than “goalies are voodoo.”

As The Athletic’s Jesse Granger learnt (sub. need), Fleury’s sword-and-meme-wielding representative Allan Walsh thinks it’s everything about “The Flower” not wilting when he gets those desirable starts. Here’s a shortened variation of what Walsh informed Granger.

“If you look at Marc’s career, he’s always excelled and played amongst the elite goalies in the league, when he’s been the No. 1 goalie and played the vast majority of games,” Walsh informed Granger previously in March. “ … It wasn’t the label that was important. It was the fact that he was expected to come in and play the vast majority of the games, and that’s what he thrives on.”

Walsh doesn’t see Fleury’s revitalization as a matter of altering strategy.

Walsh stated that, “for anyone to say that after 18 years of being an elite goalie in the NHL, that somehow there are adjustments made this year that have fixed him, are laugh-out-loud ridiculous.”

Fair enough.

Naturally, stating “my goalie wants to play more, is playing well while playing often, so that’s why he’s playing well” feels a touch self-serving. It may not be the genuine description for The Flower’s renaissance.

In any case, it’s remarkable.

Fuel to fire “The Flower”

Could it be that Fleury flourishes under pressure?

Marc-Andre Fleury’s Hockey Referral page supplies a fascinating timeline of the ups and downs of the 36-year-old’s unforgettable NHL profession. In specific, it’s remarkable to see how (or if) Fleury rebounded from specifically hard seasons.

With aid from Hockey Referral’s listings, there are 2 periods that stand apart.

Initially, Fleury sandwiched 2 strong seasons in between one rough one with Pittsburgh.

Season

Tm

GP

W

L

T/O

SV%

GAA

SO

GSAA

2008-09

PIT

62

35

18

7

0.912

2.67

4

7.3

2009-10

PIT

67

37

21

6

0.905

2.65

1

-10.8

2010-11

PIT

65

36

20

5

0.918

2.32

3

8.8

And after that, think about completion of his run with the Penguins, through his Golden Knights days.

Goalie Statistics

Season

Tm

GP

W

L

T/O

SV%

GAA

SO

GSAA

2015-16

PIT

58

35

17

6

0.921

2.29

5

9.8

2016-17

PIT

38

18

10

7

0.909

3.02

1

-4.8

2017-18

VEG

46

29

13

4

0.927

2.24

4

20.8

2018-19

VEG

61

35

21

5

0.913

2.51

8

5.3

2019-20

VEG

49

27

16

5

0.905

2.77

5

-6.5

2020-21

VEG

21

16

5

0

0.933

1.87

4

15

Perhaps Marc-Andre Fleury assembles a few of the very best goaltending of his profession when he has something to show — and in some cases a job to win?

Signing up with a growth group needed to be a shock to the system. Showing that he can win in such an unsure scenario likewise needed to supply stick-it-to-them inspiration.

Ultimately, Fleury’s numbers waned from blended in 2018-19, to ending up being a liability last season. As much as Walsh discussed the job being “taken” from Fleury (this time without a sword and a Photoshop job), Fleury played himself out of the gig. On a group going strong to win everything like Vegas all of a sudden has actually done, they didn’t have time to await Fleury to get on track.

And after that this season took place.

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With Robin Lehner hurt, Fleury saw a golden chance. Whether his future might in some way stay with the Golden Knights, or he’s auditioning for a brand-new group, there’s a lot on the line for MAF in 2020-21.

To Fleury’s credit, he hasn’t simply kept the seat warm for Robin Lehner. He’s taking the ball and running with it, and it’s practically as a wonderful to view as MAF’s beaming, signature smile.

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James O’Brien is an author for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

NHL on NBCSN: Marc-Andre Fleury creating a sensational turn-around initially appeared on NBCSports.com

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.