Seriously. Who kept the Penguins in the Finals last season when the offense couldn't score and Brooks Orpik couldn't be out there every shift beating the pads out of everyone?
And while last season was definitely a rough one for Fleury, his comeback couldn't have been stronger. Fleury won seven straight starts in March and went 9-1-1 with a 1.44 GAA and .951 save percentage. Stats like that make you wonder how he'd have played if only he were healthy all season.
Then again, he had a shaky start. For those watching the Penguins suffer through the first month of play, it almost seemed as if MAF couldn't find his place between the pipes. By the time December rolled around and Fleury went down with a high-ankle sprain, no one could have predicted the Pens would be playoff contenders.
The Pittsburgh Penguins recently featured our boy Marc-Andre Fleury on the team's site, and he seems fired up and ready for the upcoming season.
"I am really excited to get started again. We had such a good end of the season. That was our goal, to improve all year and win the Cup and we were so close. We have some unfinished business to take care of. That’s what we play for – to win the Cup. To get so close and have that taste during the playoffs – it’s so fun to play hockey. People are really into it. I know our fans were right behind us all the way and it would have been great to get a Cup, but that’s something we want to do.”
And then, of course, there was that whole 7-year, $35 million contract in the offseason. That should keep him around a while.
I don't think it's far fetched to say Fleury may very well have a 40-win season ahead of him. He'll no doubt switch up with Dany Sabourin on some of those back-to-back days, but that shouldn't deter him from raking in the "W"s.
Thoughts on this season?