Marc-Andre Fleury Snubbed For 2015 All-Star Game


With the full rosters for the 2015 NHL All-Star Game now in the hands of the people, it is readily apparent that some snubs occurred, just like any other year. However, one such snub this year stood out as being particularly egregious.

Despite the inclusion of mediocre goaltenders such as the Chicago Blackhawks’ Corey Crawford and the Florida Panthers’ Roberto Luongo, Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was excluded from this year’s festivities.

“Look at all the injuries we’ve had and the numbers he’s still put up. He deserves more recognition.”

While two particularly deserving goalies, the Nashville Predators’ Pekka Rinne and the Montreal Canadiens’ Carey Price, did receive spots, Fleury’s position as one of the most superior crease minders of the 2014-2015 campaign was ignored.

Admittely, between Fleury, Crawford, and Luongo, the statistics do not place them far apart. Crawford and Fleury have an edge on Luongo for goals against average, at 2.15, 2.16, and 2.23, respectively. The save percentages are nearly identical between the three goalies with Luongo at .927, Fleury at .926, and Crawford at .924.

But where Fleury pulls ahead are with wins and shutouts. While many argue, and argue effectively, that these stats are not hugely important when considering the quality of a goaltender, it must be considered that due to the near-identical stats, wins and shutouts become more vital to the argument of all-star worthiness.

At 21 wins with 6 shutouts, the latter being a career high as well as a league leader, Fleury is having a phenomenal season in net and is deserving of substantial recognition for his accomplishments, certainly more so than either Crawford or Luongo.

To make those numbers even more impressive, the Penguins have been riddled with injuries and Fleury has been a major factor in keeping the team near the top of the Metropolitan Division. Players, such as winger Beau Bennett, were bewildered by the decision to keep him off the team.

“That’s crazy,” said Bennett, “Look at all the injuries we’ve had and the numbers he’s still put up. He deserves more recognition.” Bennett continued to wonder aloud as to why the rest of the NHL doubts the Pens netminder. “For some reason, he goes under the radar,” Bennett said. “But we know what we’ve got. He’s one of the best goalies in the league. He came into this season with a vengeance. He’s been great.”

Thomas Greiss, the backup goaltender for the Penguins, expressed similar sentiments. “Maybe people in the press or people with the league don’t realize how good he is, but the players do.”

Some may argue that if Fleury were to have made the All-Star roster, then the Penguins would have too many representatives for it to be fair as he would join Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. This argument would have very little weight because, as it currently stands, the Chicago Blackhawks have five players on the team.

While the ultimate legacy of this exceptional season for the goalie affectionately known by the Penguins faithful as “Flower” will lay in his post-season play, a fair and just world would see Fleury suiting up in Columbus for the NHL’s celebration of its finest players.

As for Fleury’s reaction to his snub? He admitted that it stung a bit, but still managed to find the best in the situation. “That’s fine,” he said, “I’ll get a few extra days to rest the body a little bit and come back fresh.”