Cris Collinsworth wondered during the Super Bowl last Sunday how many Pittsburgh fans were upset, even though the season had ended almost a month back to their beloved Steelers. The announcer was speaking to both contentious catches that drew video reviews, only to be upheld touchdowns for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Their opponents, the New England Patriots, had reeled the benefit of a similar review back in week seventeen, when the Pittsburgh Steelers was denied a touchdown pass after a call had been reverse after a rather lengthy replay.
Collinsworth might have been right about Steelers fans being upset about those upheld calls, but two nights later tens of thousands of Pittsburgh fans were literally in tears. The emotion came not during a soccer game, but instead a long anticipated hockey match.
Due to last year’s expansion in the National Hockey League, Fleury was lost to Pittsburgh when he was hailed from the Las Vegas Golden Knights.
On Tuesday, February 6 Las Vegas played its first game in Pittsburgh, marking Fleury’s first appearance at the PPG Arena in a uniform other than the Penguins.
During a break in the first half of period one, the movie board displayed a number of the career highlights of Fleury while he defended the net for the Penguins. Then the crowd stood in his honor in an ovation that lasted nearly ten minutes. The Pittsburgh announcer said that there was not a dry eye in the entire place, just as the camera showed Fleury himself with a tear on his cheek visible through his Las Vegas face protector.
It’s not tough to understand the love between the fans and their long time goaltender who, unlike many player departures, was neither traded nor bolted for free agency. Pittsburgh had no option but to shed Fleury from the expansion draft, which restricted the Penguins to protecting just 1 goalie on the roster. The team wisely chose to shield Matt Murray, who’s younger and figures to be around for the long haul.
Murray will need to stay around a very long time if he can even hope to break so!e of the team records Fleury based in his tenure, in addition to the three Stanley Cups. He tops the Penguins in many games, tended goal in 691 battles on the ice. Fleury’s 375 wins are also a team record, as are his 44 shutouts.
That night of appeared for half an hour as if Fleury was going to shut his former teammates, since his Golden Knights led two to nothing with just ten minutes remaining in period two. Pittsburgh’s Ryan Reaves then shot one past Fleury, and Ian Cole tied it a couple of minutes later.
The Penguins got additional goals from Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel, two celebrities who’d helped Fleury win the three NHL championships. At the end of sixty minutes, Pittsburgh had proven victorious with a five to four triumph.
However, both teams could very well lock up again in a far more significant series in the end of the season,given their individual places in the standings. Las Vegas currently sits atop the Pacific Division and Pittsburgh is second in the Metropolitan, meaning Fleury could be facing his old team in the Stanley Cup finals.