Marc-Andre Fleury Is The Greatest Goaltender In Pittsburgh Penguins History


Few players have a more divided reputation than Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

The cries from the Penguins faithful for his departure due to his postseason instability have been loud, while others point to his Stanley Cup victory and stellar regular season record as sound reasoning for why his recent 4-year, $23 million dollar deal was the right decision.

However, regardless of which camp any particular person found themselves in, it is an undeniable statistical fact that Marc-Andre Fleury is now the all-time greatest goalie in Penguins history.

Earning his eight shutout of the 2014-2015 campaign in the 4-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Feb. 6, Fleury found himself in sole ownership of the franchise record for most shutouts in a single season, overcoming the mark set by former goalie Tom Barrasso . Considering that there are 31 games left in the season, it is fairly reasonable to assume that Fleury will only solidify his position as franchise leader.

With this most recent achievement, Marc-Andre Fleury has found himself the owner of almost every franchise record goaltending. He has already played the most games at 455, won the most games with 241 victories, and has the most shutouts  with 35. He has also played the most games in a season multiple times, having played 67 games in 2006-2007, 2009-2010, and 2011-2012.

Fleury has also developed a knack for making outstanding saves, some of which will likely find themselves on highlight reels for years to come.

While I do believe that Marc-Andre Fleury’s place atop the mountain has been achieved already, two great and reasonable obstacles truly remain for the doubters of the French Canadian’s place as the greatest Penguins goaltender

The first, and lesser of the two, is Barrasso’s mark of 43 wins in one season, accomplished during the 1992-1993 season. To even tie this feat, Fleury would have to win 19 of the remaining 31 games, and that is assuming that he plays all those games. He is already at 41 games played this season, so this record is likely to remain Barrasso’s for the time being.

The much more substantial milestone, however, would be Barrasso’s two Stanley Cup championships from the 1990-1991 and 1991-1992 seasons. Looming ominously over Fleury’s head since his initial success during the 2008-2009 season, most fans judge players based on their ability to help win Stanley Cups. As it stands, Fleury has just his one and, as such, has still not earned admiration from the majority of the vocal Penguins fanbase.

I feel that this stance is, by turns, fair and unfair. I do agree that Stanley Cups will always stand above individual achievement. However, when one examines the quality of Pittsburgh Penguins throughout the ages, I believe that history will show that Marc-Andre Fleury has been the very best in franchise history.

Another Stanley Cup would be nice, though.