Golden Knights netminder Marc-Andre Fleury came into the Stanley Cup Final with a .947 save percentage. Pretty good, right? Well, let’s just say that number has gone down thanks to the Washington Capitals, who have scored at least three goals on him in each game.
Fleury’s save percentage has now dropped to .929. That’s a great number, but not when you were 18 points higher just four games ago.
Game 4 was particularly rough for Vegas, as they allowed six goals in their 6-2 loss in Washington. Many wondered whether or not head Gerard Gallant should have pulled Fleury in the first intermission when the team was down 3-0 or even in the second intermission when they were trailing by four. In the end, Gallant decided to stick with his starting goalie.
When asked if he ever considered it, Gallant had this to say, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
“No. I think at least five of the six goals were wide-open nets. There was nothing he could have done.”
It’s a fair point. Of the six goals the Caps scored on Fleury, how many could he have stopped? There’s no way he’s coming up with the Oshie power-play goal (1-0), Tom Wilson was left totally alone in the slot (2-0), Devante Smith-Pelly made a great play to get the puck from his skate to his stick (3-0), no goalie is coming up with the John Carlson rocket one-timer (4-0), Kempny had all the space in the world on his one-timer (5-2) and Brett Connolly cashed in on a 5-on-3 power play (6-2). There’s not much Fleury could have done on any of those goals.
Another reason people may have wanted to see Fleury come out of the game was so that he could get additional rest ahead of a do-or-die Game 5. Sure, extra rest couldn’t hurt, but there’s still two full off days between the last game and the one coming up (they don’t play again until Thursday). If Game 5 was on Wednesday night, maybe that changes things. The fact that there’s an extra day is probably one of the reasons why he stayed in there.
Upon further review, there’s nothing wrong with the way the Golden Knights handled their goaltending situation in Game 4. Fleury played the whole game and there’s nothing wrong with that.