By STEPHEN WHYNO, AP Hockey Author
Peter DeBoer did not identify his beginning goaltender for Recreation 1 of the Vegas Golden Knights’ second-round sequence towards the Vancouver Canucks.
A tweet Saturday by Marc-Andre Fleury’s agent might have on condition that info away, and it definitely stirred up questions in the midst of the playoffs.
Agent Allan Walsh posted to Twitter an illustration of Fleury in full uniform in web being impaled by a sword with “DeBoer” on it.
DeBoer has mentioned it’s “a fantastic luxurious” to have two beginning goalies and would work out to rotate them. Lehner has gotten nearly all of the motion, going 5-1 with a 2.04 goals-against common and .904 save share, whereas Fleury is 2-Zero with a 2.50 GAA and .886 save share.
Judging by the sentiment of Walsh’s tweet, Lehner may very well be in web Sunday evening within the Vegas-Vancouver sequence opener (10:30 p.m. EDT, NBC Sports activities Community).
Fleury is 12-2-2 towards the Canucks and hasn’t misplaced to them since 2006. Requested Friday earlier than the Golden Knights knew if the Canucks or St. Louis Blues can be there opponent, however circuitously about Fleury, DeBoer mentioned, “I do not suppose it in all probability modifications our roster selections or our line makeups, a minimum of not for Recreation 1.”
A workforce spokesman confirmed Saturday evening the Golden Knights are conscious of Walsh’s tweet. Walsh didn’t reply to a message looking for additional remark.
Fleury received the Stanley Cup thrice with Pittsburgh — twice as a part of a tandem with Matt Murray — and led Vegas to the 2018 ultimate. The 35-year-old was the starter till the Golden Knights traded for Lehner on the deadline in February.
Common supervisor Kelly McCrimmon mentioned the workforce spoke with Fleury the day of the commerce and with Lehner upon his arrival to make sure them of the association.
“We didn’t really feel that we had sufficient assist behind Marc-Andre, in order that was the motivation behind the deal,” McCrimmon mentioned not too long ago. “I believe there’s a great relationship between each goaltenders and every is obtainable for a similar purpose: to attempt to assist us win.”
Fleury stays with the Western Convention top-seeded Golden Knights within the Edmonton bubble. Video games 5 and 6 of this sequence, if needed, are scheduled on back-to-back days and would lend themselves to splitting the duties in web.
That will not occur for Vancouver, which has ridden Jacob Markstrom to seven wins in 10 video games. The 30-year-old Swede has been among the many greatest goalies within the playoffs with a .929 save share.
“He’s a fantastic instance of, one, how lengthy it takes goaltenders to develop and the way shortly individuals can provide up on guys,” mentioned DeBoer, who coached the Florida Panthers after they drafted Markstrom in 2008 and when he noticed his first NHL motion a couple of years later. “The truth that he’s persevered and turned himself into top-of-the-line goaltenders on the earth and the way lengthy it took for him to try this, I give a ton of credit score to him as a result of that path hasn’t been straightforward.”
BOSTON BRUINS VS. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING, Recreation 1 (eight p.m., NBCSN)
Bruce Cassidy figured his Boston Bruins would run into the Tampa Bay Lightning within the 2019 playoffs with every workforce wanting like a Stanley Cup contender. Columbus swept Tampa Bay in gorgeous style within the first spherical, delaying a rematch between the Atlantic Division’s perennially two greatest groups.
That is a actuality once more now, within the second spherical two years after the Lightning eradicated the Bruins in 5 video games.
“We’ve grown since then,” Cassidy mentioned. “I believe we’re a greater workforce. I imagine I’ve had extra playoff expertise. Now it’s going to be two very evenly matched groups going at it. Every workforce’s in all probability not 100 p.c wholesome however for essentially the most half have sturdy lineups and are able to go.”
Tampa Bay remains to be with out Steven Stamkos, and coach Jon Cooper once more bristled at questions on his injured captain, who’s “not accessible proper now.” Stamkos in July aggravated a core muscle harm that he had surgical procedure on in March and hasn’t performed since February.
However the Lightning have discovered a groove with out him, beating the Blue Jackets in 5 to get revenge for final yr. They’re wanting ahead to a measuring stick sequence towards Boston.
“It’s two groups that play with lots of delight and clearly guys which have been on one another’s groups for fairly some time and confronted off towards one another many occasions,” Tampa Bay defenseman Ryan McDonagh mentioned. “You’re accustomed to the model that they play, and the depth you understand goes to be there for certain proper from the beginning.”
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