The Vegas Golden Knights’ magical first season ended with Marc-Andre Fleury struggling against the Capitals, a rival from his Penguins days. Their second season began in a similar way.
Fleury experienced his ups and downs during his career starts against the Philadelphia Flyers, and you can file his first start of 2018-19 as a big letdown. “MAF” only made it halfway through an eventual 5-2 win for the Flyers, as Fleury gave up five goals on 16 shots.
With two goals, Wayne Simmonds began his contract year with impressive work. Robert Hagg also enjoyed a strong showing, collecting a goal and an assist for Philly. The Flyers shook off an early Jonathan Marchessault goal, rattling off five unanswered goals.
While the Flyers spoiled the party tonight, it’s not as though the Golden Knights totally looked like pumpkins in trying to follow up their Cinderella first season in the NHL.
There were moments where Vegas’ speed seemed as overwhelming as it did in 2017-18, forcing a strong night from Flyers goalie Brian Elliott. Both of the Golden Knights’ goals were quite pretty, as it seemed like anything less would be gobbled up by a game Elliott.
Getting too high or too low is foolish during an 82-game season. Merely glance at the Bruins’ 48 hours, as they went from losing 7-0 last night to swaggering their way to a 4-0 win on Thursday.
Still, nights like these serve as a reminder of how fantastic Fleury was last season, and how difficult it will be for “The Flower” to match or even approach his efforts once again.
How much did the hard-charging Golden Knights’ formula depend upon luck and superlative goaltending? Time will tell, yet the Flyers reminded many of Fleury’s tougher times — and how difficult it is to consistently win in the NHL.
Now, for an alternate recap that should entertain people who loved the way the Stars announced Tyler Seguin‘s extension: