Do not adjust your monitors/iPads/whatever you might be viewing this post on, as this isn’t some typo or republished post.
Nope, Marc-Andre Fleury is just on fire right now. Sure, it is true that he (and the Pittsburgh Penguins) finally lost a game on Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Yet as many stat-minded hockey fans will tell you, a goalie’s win-loss record isn’t always the best indication of his skill. Fleury received the “L” against Philly, but he kept the Penguins in a tightly-played game by making some big and difficult saves.
Overall, Fleury allowed three goals on 37 shots in another impressive performance by the No. 1 pick from the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. His best save of the evening probably took place after the game’s final goal was scored, as he robbed James van Riemsdyk to keep the match at 3-2.
Enjoy this clip below and click here for his December 6-12 save of the week stop if you’re in the mood for a little more Fleury.
(To take a look at Marc-Andre Fleury’s other save of the week victory, click here.)
Most – if not all – good things must come to an end. That was the case with the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight, as their 12-game winning streak was halted while Fleury’s personal 11-game run also ended. (Only Sidney Crosby kept his hot streak going.)
If it’s any consolation, Fleury earned the save of the week award for the week of December 6-12.
Fleury made the save during the team’s last win against the Buffalo Sabres, as he stopped rugged forward Mike Grier with a nice kick save. As you can see, PHT readers chose Fleury by a pretty large margin.
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OK, now that you’ve seen the results, take a look at video footage of the stop.
The NHL named its three best players for the week of December 6-12, with San Jose Sharks forward Ryane Clowe, Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Columbus Blue Jackets star Rick Nash earning the honors.
Let’s take a look at their respective weeks, with our thoughts combined with some tidbits from the NHL’s press release.
First star: Clowe
The burly forward is second on the Sharks with 28 points thanks to eight goals and 20 assists. Most interestingly, though (in my opinion), is the fact that he joins Dan Cleary as a rare NHL player from Newfoundland.
Clowe led all scorers last week with eight points (three goals, five assists) as the Sharks (15-10-4) won three of four games. Clowe tallied multiple points in each game, beginning with a pair of assists in a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings Dec. 6. He notched one goal, one assist and a shootout tally in a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Dec. 8, recorded two assists in a 6-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres Dec. 9 and scored both goals, including the overtime winner, in a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Dec. 11.
Second star: Fleury
It’s difficult to contain Fleury’s great play to one week when he’s won 11 games in a row since November 17th. You have to wonder if “MAF” is starting to encroach on Vezina Trophy nominee status with the way he’s played in the last month or so. Here are his stats from the week itself, though.
Fleury posted a 3-0-0 record, 1.67 goals-against average and .944 save percentage as the Penguins (21-8-2) extended their winning streak to 12 games. Fleury made 27 saves in a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils Dec. 6, stopped 23 shots in a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Dec. 8 and concluded the week by making 34 saves in a 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres Dec. 11.
Third star: Nash
Much like Fleury, this isn’t the first time this season that Nash earned a star of the week award. He previously earned that mark in late November as well. Let’s take a look at the week itself from the (occasionally stubbly) face of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Nash tallied six points (three goals, three assists) in three games, helping the Blue Jackets post a pair of victories and reach the 28-game mark with the best record in franchise history (16-11-1). Nash figured in each Columbus goal last week, starting with a last-minute, game-tying goal, an assist and a shootout tally in a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars Dec. 6.
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has been on a ridiculous tear of late and last night he showed the Buffalo Sabres just how good he is. During the Penguins 5-2 win over Buffalo, Fleury did a lot of standing on his head to keep the Sabres at bay. One thing they may not have counted on was Fleury being able to stay on his toes to make saves.
Early in the first period with no score, the Sabres scrambled in front of the Penguins net when the puck ended up on the stick of Mike Grier. Grier tried to slip the puck by Fleury on the sneak, but Fleury almost purely on instinct kicked his foot out and ended up booting the puck away with a remarkable toe save. Fleury’s sharp instincts helped him lead the way to helping the Penguins to their 12th straight victory.
It’s been a great couple weeks for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The team is on a seven game winning streak and are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games, a red-hot run that tied them with the Philadelphia Flyers in the Atlantic Division with 34 standings points (although Philly played in one less game, so they can take a two point lead with a win). Two of the biggest catalysts for that streak are two of the team’s biggest names: Sidney Crosby and Marc-Andre Fleury.
While Crosby earned last week’s third star honors and is on a pace to top some of his single season highs, Fleury has gone from goat to the kind of goalie who earns $5 million per season and boasts a Stanley Cup on his resume.
The No.1 pick of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft won his last six starts, earning a shutout, allowed only one goal three times and was beaten just nine times overall during that span. Aside from allowing four goals in a win and registering a 88 save percentage against Carolina, his save percentage has been at 93 or higher in those six games.
Now, this isn’t some achievement award, though. Voters made their decision based on the best save (one would assume, at least) and as you can see from the poll results, Fleury beat Sergei Bobrovsky and the four other goalies.
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OK, now that you’ve seen the poll results, here is the save that earned Fleury the honors for the week of November 22-28.