Marc-Andre Fleury concussion will test Vegas depth chart
The Vegas Golden Knights have been the success story of the NHL through the first few weeks of the season – and a large part of that has been due to Marc-Andre Fleury.
James Neal’s goals have been crucial, but Fleury has been the team’s rock. He’s stopped 124 shots already through four games, boasting a perfect 3-0-0 record and a .925 save percentage behind a team no one expected to do well.
That all came to a halt on Sunday, though, when it was confirmed that the veteran starter has been placed on injured reserve for a concussion. This means he’ll miss a minimum of seven days for the Golden Knights, who have relied heavily on his services.
Marc-Andre Fleury and Jonathan Marchessault have been placed on the injured reserve list.
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) October 15, 2017
The most important concern is clearly Fleury’s health.
The former first overall pick is no stranger to concussions through his days with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Seeing him back on IR with an all-too-familiar affliction is worrisome, even to those who were secretly hoping he’d hit a cold streak for their favorite team’s sake.
The fact that the Golden Knights were quick to place him on the injured reserve list, at the very least, shows that they’re serious about the injury – and with no real hope for a postseason berth in their inaugural season, there’s a hope that they’ll keep him sidelined until he’s truly back to 100 percent.
In the interim, though, things could get a bit hairy.
The Golden Knights took a huge gamble at the start of the season when they claimed goaltender Malcolm Subban from the Boston Bruins, then waived and subsequently traded their original backup, Calvin Pickard.
Since arriving with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pickard has played in one AHL game with the Toronto Marlies, posting a .943 save percentage and allowing just two goals on 35 shots. Subban, on the other hand, has yet to officially record a save in net for Vegas, as the Golden Knights left Fleury in for the remainder of his game against the Detroit Red Wings upon getting injured.
It’s possible that Subban, who was once considered a highly-regarded prospect for the Bruins, will manage to rally and hold down the fort until Fleury returns.
He’s been considered a project at best, though, with inconsistencies in his game that still need addressing. The hope was likely that he’d get time to develop those while Fleury took the lion’s share of the team’s starts – and gaining sole starter responsibility with no veteran to back him up, particularly behind a team with little in the way of defensive acumen, could spell trouble for a delicate prospect balance needed to see him flourish.
The Golden Knights will get their first chance to see him in action, though, and soon. Ironically enough, he’ll likely take his first start against the Boston Bruins this evening, debuting with his new club against the one that let him go just a few weeks ago.