There have been some great performances in the crease during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. But if it comes down to a Game 7...
Of the current playoff goalies, who would you pick to win one game for your team tonight?
Chris Peters, hockey prospects writer: The obvious answer for me at this point is Marc-Andre Fleury.
In recent years Fleury had been inconsistent and sometimes even unreliable, but he looks reborn in Vegas. It truly is remarkable to watch. While the Golden Knights are playing well in front of him, Fleury has still faced 252 shots on goal over seven starts -- an average of 36 shots against per game -- and he's allowed only 10 goals. The .960 save percentage he's posted is utterly ridiculous.
I think a lot of us are still waiting for the bottom to drop out. Not a lot of goalies are going to be playing their best hockey at 33 years old, but it seems like Fleury is doing that right now, and when you're hot, you're hot. The Golden Knights shouldn't count on him stopping 96 percent of the shots sent his way the rest of the playoffs, but opposing teams should expect nothing but Fleury's very best going forward. What a story he has been.
Greg Wyshynski, senior reporter: Much like the rest of the Washington Capitals, Braden Holtby had one bad five-minute spell in Game 1, and has otherwise played really well against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was the difference in their Game 2 win, stopping 32 of 33 shots. He was great in Game 3 as well, although he gave up three goals on 22 shots.
"They were trying to make everything very difficult and he responded the way he always has," said coach Barry Trotz.
Holtby has a .921 even-strength save percentage, and a .925 overall save percentage. And you can't dismiss the resiliency of a player who started the postseason on the bench and then reclaimed his crease in convincing fashion.
Emily Kaplan, national NHL reporter: William Karlsson called the Golden Knights the Golden Misfits, and as we talk about their inexplicable success, we have to remember this is a team that is uniquely motivated.
Every single player on this team was told at one point they were no longer needed -- or their team wanted somebody else more.
That extends to Marc-Andre Fleury, a No. 1 pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins who helped them win three Stanley Cups and 536 games over 13 seasons. Sure, the veteran netminder was given ample notice, but he was still dumped while given a refrain echoed across all industries: Management simply found someone cheaper and younger.
Combine that with the fact that Fleury is rested for these playoffs (he made only 46 starts this season) and that's why you're getting a goalie who has looked unstoppable at times this postseason. The 33-year-old still has it, and his unworldly stats this postseason back that up.