MONTREAL – Sources of celebration have been scarce this season at the Peel Center. The fans who were there on Thursday released an outpouring of love by warmly highlighting the achievement of Marc-Andre Fleury, who before their eyes became the third goalkeeper in National League history to reach a 500-victory plateau.
Like the last seconds of Defeat their favorites The spectators began to applaud without restraint while chanting the name of their compatriot, who had been preparing to celebrate a feat that Patrick Roy and Martin Browdor had shared until then.
The noise increased with the sound of sirens. Its climax came when in-house broadcaster Michel Lacroix took up the microphone to announce to those still unaware of the details of their attendance. The Canadian vote even allowed the protocol to be broken by awarding the man of the match title to the champion of the day even before the game’s second and third star winners were announced.
“It was special. I really thought the world hated me in Montreal, Fleury fell with her usual smile a few minutes after she returned to the locker room. I usually get yells or boos. It’s not my best games Here it looks like I have a party all the time raw in Montreal. Finally, to win 500NS With my family and friends in the stands as well as the reaction of the fans. This is good. “
Head coach Derek King, who played nearly 900 games as an NHL player, couldn’t remember seeing a player from a visiting team elicit such a reaction.
“Canadians fans showed a lot of class. We, the coaches, wanted to stay on the ice to help him. But seeing fans react like this I’ve never heard of.”
“It would not have been better for him to have done it here in Montreal,” said Captain Jonathan Toews. Reach the plateau of 500 victories in a city that has known many great goalkeepers. It was an honor for all of us to be able to help her experience this moment. “
Fleury was quickly buried by his teammates at the end of the match. Then they set up an honor guard to lead him to the locker room, where Putin and a few sausages were waiting for him. Before leaving the rink, Florey waved his hand toward the Canadian bench where David Savard, Matthew Perrault and Chris Weidmann were staying to raise their proverbial hat for him.
“It was really cool to stay and kick the ice a few times. I know when you lose, it’s not easy, sometimes you just want to go to the bedroom and change. It’s really great that they stayed,” Sorrillo appreciated.
As he himself admitted, Fleury entered the 500-victory select club in a coliseum where it was not always easy. His last win at the Bell Center dates back to January 9, 2016. He had lost his last four starts. The latest and most memorable news dates back to last June. He then made a blunder behind his net that allowed Josh Anderson to tie the match – eventually scoring the winning goal in overtime – in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup semi-finals.
These demons may have been cast out on Thursday. Beating the Canadian for 23NS times of his career, in 901NS Professional match, Fleury managed to sign him 500NS A victory faster than Brodur (908 matches) and Roy (933 matches) before him.
Not too bad for that first pick in the 2003 draft who swears, until today, that he only started considering a career in the NHL after he managed to stop a few shots from Mario Lemieux in his first practice with the Pittsburgh Penguins at age 19.
“For me, the National League is something I didn’t think I’d achieve growing up. I’ve always dreamed of it, I’ve been very impressed with Canadians, Patrick Roy and Martin Browdor. But that was the stage I didn’t think I’d go to. I had the opportunity to start young, Gaining experience early and being part of very good teams.”
At 37, Fleury was the final year of a three-year contract he signed with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2018. Is he now setting his sights on Roy’s 551 win, which was exactly that age? When did you retire?
“It’s less important,” he laughs. Patrick and Martin were my role models and they are the best for me. Of course, I’m going to do my best every night to try to win because that’s what I love about hockey. Yes, I want to have fun, but the feeling after a victory is what I love, that’s what I’m looking for. I’ll try to continue in that direction, but I don’t know… for me, the 500NS, it was important. Now, it is not important to join Patrick. “
Florey applauded at the Bell Center for his number 500
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