Knights’ Fleury having record season with assist from goalie coach

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Marc-Andre Fleury was already a pretty good goaltender when the Golden Knights selected him in the expansion draft a year ago.

Three Stanley Cup rings were all the proof you needed. But as good as Fleury had been during his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins, David Prior thought he could be even better despite the fact Fleury wouldn’t have Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and Kris Letang playing in front of him.

Prior, the Knights’ goaltending coach, wasn’t going to change Fleury’s style. Instead, he looked for cerebral things that would enhance the 33-year-old’s play.

SHORT DESCRIPTION (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“He’s got a real ability to connect with the people he’s working with,” assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon said of Prior, who was not made available by the team for comment. “With Malcolm Subban and Marc-Andre Fleury, they speak a language that you and I don’t understand. But they do.

“He’s done tremendous work, not only with those two goaltenders but during a stretch where we had a lot of injuries at that position. Maybe that was his best work.”

And as the Knights begin the next leg of their Stanley Cup journey Saturday in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final against the Winnipeg Jets, they do so knowing they have the best goalie in the playoffs. In his first 10 games, Fleury has posted a 1.53 goals-against average, a .951 save percentage and four shutouts. It has carried over from the best regular season of his career where Fleury’s numbers included a 2.24 GAA and a .927 save percentage.

“Most of it was about being ready, the mental aspect of it,” Fleury said Friday at MTS Bell Place. “His approach is good and healthy.

“I think he’s helped. He’s changed some of my on-ice play. The game changes and he’s helped make me a better goalie. I think time, experience, all that stuff, I think helps you understand things mentally on the ice, how to take care of yourself. You put all of that together and it makes you better.”

Prior pushed hard for general manager George McPhee to get Fleury.

“He obviously studies goaltenders all around the league and looks at the way that they’re playing the game,” McPhee said. “He either believes that they’re playing it right and can get better, or they’re doing all the right things. So he was excited and he really advocated for him in our meetings and thought that he could make him even better than he’s been.

“We certainly knew what we were getting in terms of ability. We like the calming effect he has on this team. When he plays, he’s really good when you need him the most. Needless to say you don’t get to the third round in this league unless you’ve got a goaltender that’s playing well.”

Knights forward James Neal, who played with Fleury in Pittsburgh, said he’s never seen Fleury play better.

“For us, we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have him,” Neal said. “Every night he’s making huge saves for us at the right time. For a guy who’s had a great career and won so many Stanley Cups, he still has something to prove and wants to be better each day. Guys see that, especially the younger guys, and it builds a lot of character in our room.”

The Jets’ Blake Wheeler said getting the best of Fleury will be a challenge over a seven-game series.

“Tremendous,” Wheeler said of Fleury’s 2018 postseason. “Even if he wasn’t playing at the level he is right now, I think he carries a ton of respect throughout the league, certainly throughout our lineup.

“This time of year, a hot goaltender can carry a team a long way and he’s at the top of his game so we know it’s not going to be easy.”

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant Press Conference
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks live at City National Arena about the Stanley Cup Final.
George McPhee talks about the Golden Knights run to the Final
Golden Knights general manager George McPhee talked to the press the day after the Knights advanced to the Stanley Cup Final.
Fleury, Reaves, Engelland On Western Conference Win
Golden Knights Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, Defenseman Deryk Engelland and Forward Ryan Reaves discuss the Knights heading to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Golden Knights On Western Conference Win
The Golden Knights react to their Western Conference Final win against the Winnipeg Jets.
Golden Knights beat the Winnipeg Jets - By the Numbers
Fun facts and stats from the Golden Knights win in the Western Conference Final.
Golden Edge: Knights Make It To Stanley Cup Finals
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond recaps the Golden Knights game five win against the Winnipeg Jets. The win for the Knights puts the team in the Stanley Cup Finals where they will face the Lightning or the Capitals.
Golden Edge: Knights fans cheer team on from Toshiba Plaza
Zac Pacleb went out to the Golden Knights watch party outside of T-Mobile Arena and got the reaction from the fans.
Gerard Gallant talks before Game 5
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks to the media ahead of Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.
Golden Edge: Knights One Game Away From Series Win
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal reporters Ed Graney and Adam Hill go over the Golden Knights 3-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets.
Gerard Gallant Reacts To Game Four Win Against Jets
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant reacts to the Golden Knights game four win against the Winnipeg Jets.
Golden Knights On Game Four Win Against Winnipeg
Golden Knights players react to their game four win against the Winnipeg Jets.
Tomas Nosek On First Playoff Goal
Golden Knights Forward Tomas Nosek talks about his first playoff goal.
Golden Knights On Game Three Against Winnipeg
The Golden Knights react to their game three win against Winnipeg at home.
Golden Knights' Cody Eakin On Preparing For Game Four
Golden Knights Forward Cody Eakin talks about preparation for game four against the Winnipeg Jets.
Gerard Gallant Talks About Eakin, Game Four Pressure
Gerard Gallant goes over the Golden Knights preparing for game four against the Winnipeg Jets.
Golden Knights’ Fleury tickles Wheeler’s ear during Game 3 scrum
Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury tickled Jets' Blake Wheeler during a scrum in Game 3. The scrum occured behind Vegas’ net with 2:34 left in the second period of the Golden Knights’ 4-2 victory over Winnipeg on Wednesday night Wheeler, whose helmet was off and had his back to the goalie, somehow seemed unfazed. The Golden Knights lead the Western Conference final series 2-1, and host Game 4 on Friday night.
Golden Edge: Knights, Fleury step up in Game 3
Bryan Salmond, Ed Graney and Adam Hill break down the Golden Knights 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets, including a pair of big performances from Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neal.
Gerard Gallant talks about Game 3 win
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks about the Golden Knights' 4-2 win in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.
Golden Knights talk about 4-2 win in Game 3
Alex Tuch, Erik Haula and Marc-Andre Fleury talk about the Golden Knights' win in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.
James Neal talks after his 2-point performance in Game 3
James Neal talks about Game 3 in which he had a goal and an assist.
Golden Knights talk about what they're hoping for in Game 3
Ryan Reaves, Jonathan Marchessault, James Neal, Brayden McNabb and Marc-Andre Fleury discuss what they learned from the first two games of the series as well as what they're hoping for in Game 3.
Golden Edge: Knights know they must start fast in Game 3
Zac Pacleb talked to the Golden Knights after they returned from Winnipeg ready for a quick start in Game 3.
Gerard Gallant talks after optional skate
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks about his assessments from the first two games of the Western Conference Finals.
Golden Knights talk about Game 2 win
Jonathan Marchessault, Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neal talk about the team's 3-1 win in Winnipeg
Gerard Gallant talks about his team's Game 2 win
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks to the media after the team's 3-1 win.
Golden Edge: Knights tie the series with a Game 2 win
Bryan Salmond, Ed Graney and Adam Hill recap the Golden Knights 3-1 win in Winnipeg.
Voices of Golden Knights players welcome visitors at McCarran airport
Four Golden Knights players will start delivering recorded messages this week as part of the “Voices of Vegas” program at McCarran International Airport.
Knights players discuss changes heading into game 2 against Winnipeg
Erik Haula, James Neal and Jonathan Marchessault discuss what changes need to happen in order for the Knights to tie the series with Winnipeg.
Gerard Gallant on game 2 against Winnipeg
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks about what Knights need to improve on heading into game two against Winnipeg.
Gerard Gallant and Deryk Engelland talk about Game 1
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant and defenseman Deryk Engelland discuss the Golden Knights' loss to the Jets in Game 1.
Golden Edge: Knights fall to the Jets in Game 1
Bryan Salmond, Adam Hill and Ed Graney discuss the Golden Knights flat start in the Western Conference Finals.
Winnipeg Jets On Game Seven Win Against Predators
The Winnipeg Jets react to their 5-1 win against the Nashville Predators.
Station Casinos offers free wagers on Golden Knights to win Cup
Station Casinos will offer free bets on the Vegas Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup. The locals casino company announced a promotion offering free wagers ranging from $5 to $250 on the team who wins hockey’s most coveted trophy. Thousands of invited holders of Station’s Boarding Pass loyalty card will receive an offer by mail to swipe their cards Monday at kiosks at seven properties. A winning ticket could cash for up to $1,000. The Golden Knights are now the 4-1 co-favorites with the Nashville Predators to claim the NHL championship.
Vanderburg Elementary cheers on the Golden Knights with mascot Chance, Golden Aces cheerleaders
Students at Vanderburg Elementary wrote an original song for a #KnightUp contest from the Vegas Golden Knights. They won the contest and hosted Knights mascot Chance and the Golden Aces cheerleaders for a pep rally. Over 300 students came together to cheer on the Knights as they head into their fourth playoff game.
Golden Knights use fitness to grab 2-0 series lead
A day after beating the Kings 2-0 in double overtime, Golden Knights players credited their conditioning. "Your body is tired, but your mind is still racing," said forward Reilly Smith. "The crowd was unbelievable." A season-high gathering of 18,588 at T-Mobile Arena helped inspire the Knights to victory. "This is why we put in so much extra work all summer long," said defenseman Jon Merrill. "For a game like that." The series continues with Game 3 at Staples Center on Sunday night.
Knights success far exceeds LVCVA's tourism goals
Several months ago, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority set out to market the city as the sports capital of the world. With the addition of the Golden Knights and the Raiders, LVCVA saw the perfect opportunity to do so. The Knights' success and current Stanley Cup playoff run has resulted in a marketing marriage with Las Vegas that has been far more successful than anyone could have imagined. This season, the Knights have managed to unite the community and made hockey fans around the country take notice. “The Knights, in my mind, really put the exclamation point that we’re the sports capital of the world, not only what they’ve done on the ice in this historic season but how they brought the community together." Lisa Motley, director of sports marketing and special events for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Professional sports have been a staple for Las Vegas for decades with championship boxing matches, PGA golf tour events and the National Finals Rodeo. But big-league teams kept their distance from Nevada, due to lingering fears of sports betting somehow influencing games. "Las Vegas stands for something much more extensive and expansive now than what it once did" David Carter, executive director of the University of Southern California's Marshall Sports Business Institute
Smith Glad To Be Back In Lineup
The Golden Knights forward missed 15 games with an upper-body injury, (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hunt Said Buses Are Where Hockey Team Unity Gets Fostered
The Golden Knights defenseman was fortunate to have avoided any accidents while riding the bus in his hockey career. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Saskatchewan Native Brayden McNabb On The Humboldt Bus Tragedy
The Golden Knights defenseman knows the area well where the junior hockey team’s bus collided with a truck Friday and left 14 people dead. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights raise banner honoring Oct. 1 shooting victims
Golden Knights raise banner honoring Oct. 1 shooting victims. On a night when the Golden Knights were looking to lock up the Pacific Division title and secure a championship banner, the team unveiled a banner of its own Saturday. The banner honors the 58 victims of the Oct. 1 Strip shooting. Knights majority owner and chairman Bill Foley and general manager George McPhee also were on the ice, along with the family of shooting victim Neysa Tonks.
Golden Knights playoff tickets go on sale Monday
The Golden Knights clinched a playoff spot Monday night, and now officials are revealing how fans can get tickets. The hottest tickets in town are going on sale Monday morning on the Golden Knights website. There will be less than 1,000 tickets made available for public sale at 10 a.m. Monday. Tickets will only be sold on a single-game basis. Are you planning to go to any Golden Knights playoff games?
Fleury notches milestone as Golden Knights stun Flyers 3-2
Marc-Andre Fleury became just the 13th goalie to reach 400 wins in his NHL career. Fleury stopped 38 shots and led the Golden Knights to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Monday night. Others in the 400-win club are Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy, Terry Sawchuk, Jacques Plante, Tony Esposito, Glenn Hall and current contemporaries Roberto Luongo and Henrik Lundqvist. “It’s a nice number to reach and all the guys in front of me I have great respect for and it’s cool to be part of that list,” Fleury said. Fleury played his entire career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, before being picked by the Golden Knights in the 2017 expansion draft.
Rookie Whitecloud Anxious To Learn About Life In Nhl
The former Bemidji State defenseman was in Buffalo Saturday but did not play for the Knights vs. the Sabres. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jon Merrill glad to be back in Newark
The Golden Knights defenseman had played for the New Jersey Devils before joining the Knights. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal )
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like