Cris Collinsworth wondered during the Super Bowl last Sunday how many Pittsburgh fans were upset, though the season had ended almost a month back to their beloved Steelers. The announcer was speaking to the two contentious catches that attracted video testimonials, 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 was reverse after a rather lengthy replay.
Collinsworth may 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 football game, but rather a long expected hockey match.
Because of last year’s expansion in the National Hockey League, Fleury was lost to Pittsburgh when he was hailed from the Las Vegas Golden Knights.
It was, undoubtedly, an emotional homecoming.
During a break in the first half of period one, the video board displayed a number of the career highlights of Fleury while he defended the net for the Penguins. Then the audience stood in his honour in an ovation that lasted almost 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 guard.
It’s not difficult to comprehend 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 choice but to lose Fleury from the expansion draft, which limited the Penguins to protecting only 1 goalie on the roster. The team wisely opted to protect Matt Murray, who is younger and figures to be around for the long haul.
Murray will have to stay around a really long time if he can even hope to break so!e of the group records Fleury established in his tenure, in addition to the three Stanley Cups. He tops the Penguins in most games, tended goal in 691 struggles 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 like Fleury was going to shut out his former teammates, as his Golden Knights led two to nothing with only ten minutes remaining in period two. Pittsburgh’s Ryan Reaves then shot one past Fleury, and Ian Cole tied it a few minutes later.
The Penguins got additional goals from Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel, two celebrities who had helped Fleury win the three NHL championships. At the end of sixty minutes, Pittsburgh had demonstrated victorious with a five to four win.
However, both teams could very well lock up again at a much more important series at the end of the season,given their respective places in the standings. Las Vegas currently sits atop the Pacific Division and Pittsburgh is second in the Metropolitan, meaning that Fleury could be facing his old team in the Stanley Cup finals.