Fans were absolutely furious earlier this week as the Minnesota Wild’s head coach, John Hynes, decided not to start Marc-Andre Fleury against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh.
Fleury is a Pens cult hero since leading the team to three Stanley Cup championships, and this might be his last season in the league.
Earlier this season, when the Wild played in Montreal, it was emotional for Fleury, given it might’ve been his final game there. But Fleury didn’t want his emotional night in Pittsburgh to happen now but rather when he’s retired.
Fleury hadn’t started a game since Dec. 8 in Edmonton, but he was back between the pipes on Tuesday. And he was simply magnificent.
It’s not easy playing against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. But Kirill Kaprizov scored twice, as he tied the game early in the third and then won it in overtime.
But despite Kaprizov’s double goals, including the game-winner, Marc-Andre Fleury stole the show.
He stopped 40 shots as he won his 549th game. He’s now just two short of tying Patrick Roy for second place in career NHL wins, and he pulled out all his tricks to secure the win over Boston.
“Nobody panicked,” said Fleury after the game, which might have been his last in Boston. “Maybe if it was earlier in the season, we might have tensed up a little bit. But it was good. There was still confidence.
“We played all the way until the end, even though we played last night. I loved how the guys battled all the way to the end of OT to get the win.”
Fleury’s incredible game happened in his 997th appearance. If he wins the next three games he plays, he’ll surpass Patrick Roy for sole possession of second place in career wins, in his 1000th NHL game.
He’s a certain selection for the Hockey Hall of Fame once he retires, and his teammates couldn’t praise him enough after the 40-save game against Boston.
But he was also hilariously chirped by teammate Brandon Duhaime for his age. For Fleury to be this good at 39 is incredible, but his teammates take every opportunity to suggest that he’s actually way older than that.
”It’s unbelievable,” Duhaime said about Fleury’s performance. ”For him to do this at 39 is special. And you know, he’s awesome. He’s a great teammate, great player, and you see what he does out there, at 39.”
The video of Duhaime’s hilarious chirp quickly went viral, with everyone absolutely loving it.
Fleury is somewhat of a prankster and jokester as well, so we’re certain he takes the chirp the right way.