Marc-Andre Fleury has been named to the All-star game after all, replacing Jimmy Howard (injury). Earlier today NYI's Jaroslav Halak was named to replace the injured Pekka Rinne.
Sean Gentille made the case for Fleury before the news broke:
The guy that deserves to take Howard's place, strange as it sounds, is Marc-Andre Fleury. Coming into 2014-15, he'd essentially mixed five years of up-and-down, ultimately average-ish play with a few postseason meltdowns. The wiseness of the contract extension he received was — and remains — highly debatable.
That said, he's been legitimately good over the last three months; his .926 save percentage is eighth overall and fifth among starters, and he leads the league with six shutouts. Wins and goals-against average are more team-oriented than anything, but he's still fifth (16 wins) and sixth (2.16 GAA) in those categories.
The process should come down to a coin flip between Fleury and Ottawa's Craig Anderson (.928 save percentage, 2.35 GAA), who has the distinct misfortune of playing on a terrible team. Washington's Braden Holtby should be in the discussion, too
Personally, I would have preferred Fleury not be named. He's already started 34 of the team's 42 games, putting him on pace to tie a career high 66 starts in a season. That's a lot of work. One of Fleury's best attributes has been durability and the ability to play lots of games, but come playoff time that hasn't always seemed to serve him well with mental and physical errors seeming to pile up when it matters most. Maybe he would have been better served to have a weekend off to rest, re-charge and be ready for the most important time of the year.
Still, always a nice recognition and definitely a deserved one. Fleury's been one of the best and most consistent goalies all season long and is an all-star. Now he will get to go to the game to prove it. If nothing else it should be fun to watch him participate in the skills competition.