SAN JOSE, Calif. — When the Golden Knights made public the dates for their yearly Fathers Trip, there was an immediate outpouring of concern for Marc-Andre Fleury.
The goaltender admitted it was a bittersweet week without his father, Andre, who died Nov. 27 at age 63.
“Everybody has had kind words for me, very supportive, all the dads and stuff,” Fleury said. “For sure sometimes you get a little emotional seeing stuff. But I guess it’s part of it.”
Fleury was more upset about his performance against Vancouver on Thursday, when he matched his season-high for goals allowed in a 5-4 overtime loss.
By his own admission, he wasn’t sharp in the first period when the Canucks jumped out to a 3-1 lead.
“It was obviously too many goals and some fluky ones that I should have played better,” Fleury said. “You dig yourself a hole there, and I wish I would have done a better job of keeping it a closer game and give us the time in the game to come back and win it.”
Fleury did not play Sunday against the Sharks to conclude the Fathers Trip and is scheduled to start the second game of the back-to-back Monday when the Knights host Colorado at T-Mobile Arena.
The dads had a busy week, which included dinner at one of Vancouver’s finest restaurants, a day trip to wine country in Northern California and the Rams-49ers football game on Saturday night. That it came at holiday time was an added benefit.
“It’s good just to get that one-on-one time, whether you’re on the plane or just out to dinner,” defenseman Shea Theodore said. “Over the past couple years, we’ve got busy schedules and we’re busy pretty much throughout the year. Just to be able to hang out for a couple days is always nice.”
Bye, for now
The Knights and Sharks finished their four-game season series, an odd development since it’s not even Christmas and the Knights have played one game each against division foes Anaheim and Edmonton.
Sunday was the rivals’ 13th meeting since April, including the playoffs and preseason, and Fleury is fine with not playing San Jose again.
“I feel like we’ve played them so much lately in a short period of time, so I think it’s OK if we don’t see them for a while,” he said.
Last look at legends?
With the Sharks near the Pacific Division cellar and in danger of missing the playoffs, this could be the last time the Knights see San Jose’s 40-year-old stalwarts Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.
Both players signed one-year deals in the summer and their future is up in the air. Thornton had no goals in 37 games entering Sunday, while Marleau had six goals and 11 points in 33 games.
“I remember playing him in video games when I was younger,” defenseman Nate Schmidt said of Thornton. “It’s just something you don’t really appreciate sometimes until it’s over. When he’s done playing you’re like, ‘Man, I played against Jumbo.’ You cherish these types of things.”