Way, way (waaaay) back on October 10, 2003, Marc–André Fleury made his NHL/Penguins debut. And what a grande entrée it was. The callow 19-year-old netminder gave a hint of the Hall-of-Fame career that was to follow, stopping 46 of 48 shots in a 3-0 loss to the Kings.
Hard to believe 20 years have passed. Where has the time gone?
Last night at the Xcel Energy Center, the now 39-year-old Flower gave a pretty fair imitation of that fresh-faced kid from long ago. Still marvelously athletic and agile, Fleury stood on his head and various other parts of his anatomy, in the process backstopping his newest team to a 3-2 victory over his original one with a show-stopping effort between the pipes.
On the flip side of the coin, the Pens were doomed by another sluggish start, fueled in no small part by a failed four-minute power play at the outset of the game.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We need to discern the elements needed for the power play…i.e.; a quarterback, a triggerman, a net-front presence, a puck retriever and a rover…and pick the best men for the job, regardless of uniform number.