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2015-16 Pensburgh Recap: Marc-Andre Fleury

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The picture says it all. Flower won the Stanley Cup, but lost his starting job. Let's assess his season as a whole.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Age and Contract Status

Age: 31 (November 28, 1984). Completed the first year of a 4-year, $23M contract with a $5.75M cap hit in 2015-16.

Preseason Expectations

In 2014-15 season Marc-Andre Fleury posted some of the best regular-season numbers of his career. In addition, after several years of questions about his playoff performance, he was OK in the sole playoff series that only lasted 5 games, so it was hard to gauge whether that meant his playoff woes were gone for good. At any rate, his new 4-year contract with a $5.75M AAV was kicking in, yet few were grumbling about it. He was the unquestioned starter and of all the questions being asked about the Pens, Fleury wasn't one.

2015-16 Stats

Fleury's 10-Game Rolling 5v5 Save Percentage for 2015-16

(from Corsica Hockey)

Fleury's SAVE Chart

(From IMF Analytics)

Fleury's Season Game-by-Game Analysis

(From HockeyViz, explained here)

Fleury's 5v5 Save % Over the last 9 NHL Seasons

(From Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com)

After a couple seasons of zig-zagging up-down-up-down, the SV% doesn't dip downward.

Verdict

Fleury had an outstanding start of the season; in fact, most nights he carried the sorry lot on his back. The Pens looked like they were skating through molasses in the first two months of the season and were it not for Fleury making save after save to help them cling to leads, who knows whether in the end there are enough points to make the playoffs.

On December 12 Mike Johnston was let go. In the first game that Mike Sullivan coached, Fleury made 30 saves in a 4-1 loss to the Capitals; however, after the game he was diagnosed with a concussion. He returned to the ice a bit later, only to suffer another concussion in the last days of March, which sidelined him indefinitely. The playoffs were about to begin, and first Zatkoff, then Murray had to step in and mind the net. The rest was history. Short of 4 combined periods against Tampa, Fleury wouldn't be in goal again. It was an unceremonious end to the season in which Fleury posted the highest SV% and lowest GAA of his remarkable career.

GIFs of the Year

Save of the year was undoubtedly this ridiculous sequence against the Red Wings while the Pens were hanging on a 3-2 lead for dear life.

We could do more of those, but it's not like we haven't already seen a thousand ridiculous saves Fleury made. Let's see something else for laughs.

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Future

What does the future hold for Fleury and the Penguins? Who knows. Draft-day trade didn't happen, yet we now know there will be an expansion draft for the Vegas team in June 2017. In theory, Fleury's NMC will require that he be protected, though there are still details to be ironed out about that. The team looks to start the regular season with both Murray and Fleury on the roster, which is probably a prudent thing to do for the time being. For now at least, #29 is a Penguin and will always be our Flower.

***

Feel free to vote in the poll below to grade Marc-Andre Fleury's season on a scale from 1 to 10. Vote based on your expectations and his ability, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.