Golden Knights’ Fleury not worried about long layoff before Stanley Cup

HC's Brian Burke apologizes to Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on air, for doubting his abilities, they also get into the whole Blake Wheeler ear tickle incident, and the influence goalie coach Dave Prior has had on him.

By the time the Stanley Cup Final gets underway it will have been eight full days since the Vegas Golden Knights last suited up for a game.

Still, even at this crucial stage of the season, rust is not something Golden Knights netminder Marc-Andre Fleury is concerned with.

“I don’t think it’s that bad,” Fleury said Wednesday during an appearance on Hockey Central at Noon. “We’ve experienced this with the other rounds, so I guess we’re getting used to it a little bit.”

Vegas swept the Los Angeles Kings in the opening round, took out the San Jose Sharks in six games in round two, and are riding high off a five-game win over the Winnipeg Jets in the Western Conference final. Fleury and the Golden Knights had six days off between eliminating the Sharks and their series with the Jets beginning. They were outclassed by the Jets in Game 1 but proceeded to rail off four consecutive victories with Fleury stopping 129 of 135 shots in those games.

“I think maybe that first game against Winnipeg where maybe our game speed wasn’t as high as theirs but the more the series went on I thought we got comfortable,” Fleury explained. “We had lots of energy and guys are not so banged up, so I think we’re be fine.”

Fleury added that he views this layoff before the Stanley Cup as valuable time his team can use to regroup.

 
Marc-Andre Fleury on fighting for Lord Stanley's Mug with his Golden Knights
May 23 2018

This is the third consecutive season Fleury’s team has advance to the championship. His former club, the Pittsburgh Penguins, hoisted the Cup in each of the past two years although Fleury served as backup to Matt Murray both times. Fleury fell short of a Cup win in 2008 against the Red Wings but won it as a starter with the Pens the following season.

“Even when you’ve been there you always want to go back,” Fleury said of reaching the fifth Stanley Cup Final of his career. “I don’t think there’s any perfect way to make it to the Final and win. … The playoffs are hard, they’re long and the more rested you are I think the better you’ll be in the end.”

Vegas head coach Gerard Gallant and his players have preached a “one game at a time” mentality all throughout this team’s inaugural season and Fleury believes that has been a key contributing factor to the team’s success.

“That’s what’s been good about our team,” Fleury said. “Whatever happens in the past, just move on, get ready for the next game as [we’ve done] all season long. Now, this is just another game we have to get ready for.”

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final is set to take place Monday.

If the Lightning win Game 7 of Wednesday’s Eastern Conference Final against the Capitals, the Cup will start in Tampa Bay. If the Caps win, the series will begin in Vegas.

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