The Vegas Knights traded away goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury, to the Chicago Blackhawks this off-season. Fleury just played in his first game with the Blackhawks, so how did Lehner fare compared to Fleury?
The Vegas Golden Knights traded away Marc-Andre Fleury to the Chicago Blackhawks this past off-season. In return, the Knights received forward, Mikael Hakkarainen. Going into the off-season you knew that either Fleury or Lehner were going to get traded due to the salary cap situation. After the organization discussed their options, they decided to stick with Lehner in goal.
After yesterday, we finally got to see Fleury in the Blackhawks uniform. However, how did Fleury’s first game of the season compare to Lehner’s first game of the season? That’s what I’m hoping to discuss in this article.
How did Fleury compare to Lehner?
Well, I know that it’s unfair to compare the two for multiple reasons. First, Fleury has a completely different team in front of him than Lehner. Second, Fleury was facing a powerhouse in the Avalanche and Lehner faced a newly formed expansion team in the Kraken. However, if your comparing their games, they weren’t all that different.
Fleury played a very strong game once he got settled in, but he started off very rough. Fleury, who gave up three goals to the Avalanche in the first 10 minutes, showed some frustration and it was clear that he uneasy. It wasn’t until the second period that he started to look comfortable in goal. Now, It’s no secret that the Blackhawks were going to be in for a long game against a team as talented as the Avalanche, but I don’t think anyone expected them to come out firing like they did. With star Nathan MacKinnon, and Devon Toews out with COVID, I don’t think anyone expected them to get blown out like they did.
Fleury, once he got settled in started to show the caliber player he was. He started to make multiple glove saves, and started to get better reads on the puck off the wing. After giving up three goals in the first 10 minutes, he only allowed one more goal through the next two periods.
Analyzing Lehner’s first appearance in net, it was actually the polar opposite of Fleury’s. Lehner started off incredibly strong against the Kraken, Fleury started very weak against the Avalanche. After you get out of the first period, Fleury looked very good against Colorado, and then Lehner looked poor in the third period allowing three goals. However, Lehner still looked very strong after the first two periods.
As I’ve stated in other articles, the Kraken appeared as though they were going to try and put as much pressure as they can on Lehner early on. However, looking at it from today, it could’ve been that they simply were just trying to tire him out in order to have a strong second and third period. If that is in fact what they were looking to accomplish, great job.
In conclusion, although the Knights have a stronger defense than the Blackhawks, Fleury’s showing in net was not great. However, neither was Lehner’s in the third period against the Kraken.