Las Vegas–Today we wrap up our 4 part series on the Vegas Golden Knights roster with the last line of defense the goaltenders. Over the last few days, we’ve taken a look at the Golden Knights forwards and defenseman of who is likely to be the guys that Head Coach Gerard Gallant will ice night in and night out.
Now it’s the goalie’s turn of which 1-2 tandem will most likely backstop Golden Knights net this upcoming season.
In any teams game, it’s the netminder’s job between the pipes to be prepared to step up and provide that line of defense when the guys in front of him get overwhelmed by the opponents attack.
Marc-André Fleury-Calvin Pickard
For us and everyone else that is looking forward to the Golden Knights 1st ever season in the NHL this fall the vote is unanimous of who is number 1 goaltender between the pipes for Vegas, it’s 3-time Stanley Cup Champion Marc-André Fleury.
When Fleury’s name was announced during the Vegas Draft roughly 2 weeks ago, fans in attendance went nuts and literally with their reaction to the selection blew the roof off of T-Mobile Arena.
Fleury has had an amazing NHL career with the Class of 67 Powerhouse Pittsburgh Penguins. The veteran backstopper brings with him to Golden Knights, 691 games of experience under his belt all with the Penguins, 375 of those in the win column and 216 on the losing end. He has 2-ties and 66 overtime losses.
His career stats include a 2.58 GAA and a .912 save percentage.
Over the course of his successful career, he recorded 44 shutouts. He also posted 115 games of Stanley Cup Playoffs experience with a 62-51. So if the Golden Knights make a postseason appearance they know who to put in net for the war of attrition tournament.
Is a proven goaltender with the capability of carrying a team deep into the playoffs (2008, 2009, and 2016). Fleury is the kind of goalie a team wants that can deliver in clutch situations and make the highlight reel like saves during a game.
With the way we see things potentially unfolding for the upcoming season with the Golden Knights, Fleury will have a heavy workload ahead of him.
The young goalie Pickard will have to be prepared to answer the bell for the Golden Knights if things for Fleury get out hand during their first season.
Last year the Colorado Avalanche, Pickard played in 50 of the 82 for Avs posting a 15-31-2 record. This might not look good in any comparison as the team he played on lacked solid defense.
These numbers did equate to that he had somewhat of a starting role with Colorado in the prior campaign. Pickard will need to follow Fleury’s lead in how he trains and plays the game in order to keep pucks out of the Golden Knights net particularly when it’s his turn to be in between pipes.
His 2.98 GAA at .904 save percentage will need to improve this season as the backup vs his role as the starter from last year.
In order for him to be a solid starter going forward with the Vegas franchise, he will need to put together a string of wins in a reduced capacity. One major issue that Pickard needs to work on during his time with the Golden Knights is preventing soft goals to enter his net.
Should be interesting to how the starting lineup for the Golden Knights roster will take shape after preseason.