Ron and Don: Fleury, Vasilevskiy stealing the show this post-season

Ron and Don discuss the play of Andrei Vasilevskiy, Marc-Andre Fleury, and how important these goaltending performances are to a playoff run.

It’s a lesson we learn every spring: Great goaltending is the difference between winning and golfing.

Case in point: Marc-Andre Fleury and Andrei Vasilevskiy, who have both been show-stoppers this post-season to get their clubs to the Conference Finals.

The Tampa Bay Lightning fought back from a 2-0 series deficit against the Washington Capitals with back-to-back road wins, and Don Cherry credits Vasilevskiy for both.

Through 14 games heading into Saturday’s Game 5 matchup, Vasilevskiy has a 2.63 goals against average and .918 save percentage.

“To have him back there is obviously a great luxury for our team,” said Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, via Sportsnet’s Kristina Rutherford.

“I’ve said many times before, in the playoffs you have to have a guy,” Cherry said Saturday. “There’s no way they should’ve won these two games, and he does it. He’s standing on his head. And Fleury’s the same way.”

The star of the hottest show in Vegas through Rounds 1 and 2 of these playoffs, Fleury hasn’t slowed down in the Western Conference Final. The three-time Stanley Cup champion left the Winnipeg Jets scratching their heads with another show-stealing performance Friday night to get the Golden Knights within one win of the Stanley Cup Final.

“Fleury steals the game, like last night — come on,” Cherry said of Fleury’s 35-save Game 4. “I mean, there’s no way they should’ve won that game. Fleury is stealing the game. He is the guy.”

The sure Conn Smythe candidate has registered an incredible 1.72 goals against average and .945 save percetage with four shutouts through 14 playoff games.

“If you don’t have a goaltender, you have nothing. And I got a lot of heat when I said that [Tuukka] Rask … I said he played pretty good, but what happened was, he never stole the game for the Bruins,” Cherry said. “You have to have your goalie stealing the game and these two guys are here.”

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