Both the Western Conference Final and the Eastern Conference Final were interesting in this year’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, notably because of the goalie matchups in both series. Marc-Andre Fleury and Connor Hellebuyck faced off in the West, with Braden Holtby and Andrei Vasilevskiy meeting in the East. The most interesting takeaway is that both the veteran goalies, Fleury and Holtby, led their teams past the playoff rookies Hellebuyck and Vasilevskiy for a berth in the Stanley Cup Final. Here’s a look at the details of each series, and all four goalies who were a part of them.
Marc-Andre Fleury is thriving as a member of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, who currently sit just one win away from the Stanley Cup Final in their first year as a member of the NHL. Prior to being selected in the expansion draft, Fleury’s future with his former club, the Pittsburgh Penguins, was said to be uncertain. After moving to Vegas, he has proved all naysayers wrong, leaving virtually no room for criticism of the season he has put on for the Knights. With Pittsburgh out of the playoffs and with Fleury eyeing his fourth Stanley Cup championship, should the Penguins regret leaving him exposed this past summer?
On June 21 during the NHL Awards ceremony at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the Vegas Golden Knights selected their roster, the last step in establishing themselves as the league’s 31st franchise. It had been rumored that perhaps the most lucrative player available was pegged since February to be chosen: Marc-Andre Fleury.