The Vegas Golden Knights were in a delicate situation during the NHL playoffs.
With goalies Robin Lehner, acquired from Chicago during the trade deadline, and Marc–Andre Fleury, it certainly seemed like the Knights had the best pairing of the playoffs.
Beforehand, many believed that Fleury would be the starter. But that wasn’t the case.
Robin Lehner started 14 of the 17 playoff games, ending 7-7 with four shutouts and a .0920 save percentage. Fleury on the other hand went 2-1 with a .0940 save percentage.
Lehner and Fleury both played during round robin. But then it was all Lehner. Questions were raised on why “Flower” didn’t play.
And everything went out of hand when his agent Alan Walsh posted a drawing of Fleury stabbed in the back with a sword, baring the name “DeBoer” in a reference to Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer for not playing the former Penguin.
The Golden Knights lost to the Dallas Stars 4-1 and have left the bubble. Now, DeBoer speaks out on why Fleury didn’t play.
“I went in with the idea that if both guys played at an equal level, we would have given Fleury the starts out of respect for what he’s done for the franchise here,” DeBoer said according to NHL.com. “But Fleury came into camp and unfortunately had an injury. Robin played at a really elite level.”
Further, DeBoer pointed out that the decision was a tough one to make, but he doesn’t regret it.
Lehner can become an unrestricted free agent on Oct. 9, but the Swede is said to be negotiating and might stay in Vegas. At the same time, Fleury still has two years left on his $7 million per year contract.
“No one has more respect for ‘Flower’ as a person or a teammate or his resume and what he’s done for this franchise and through his career, but we made the decisions that gave us the best opportunity win, and we’re going do that again going forward,” DeBoer said.
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