Pittsburgh Penguins face Golden Knights and Marc-Andre Fleury

RALEIGH, NC - JANUARY 20: Marc-Andre Fleury
RALEIGH, NC - JANUARY 20: Marc-Andre Fleury /

On December 14th, the Pittsburgh Penguins will play their first game in franchise history against the Vegas Golden Knights. The 31st team in the NHL has a cast of familiar faces, most notably goaltender Marc- Andre Fleury.

Marc-Andre Fleury was activated from the IR last week. The Pittsburgh Penguins activated Matt Murray from IR two days ago. It seems the battle wounds have healed just in time for the two prime time ‘tendies to face off against one another.

When schedules were announced, every Pittsburgh fan highlighted this game. It’s the first look at a brand new franchise. It’s also the first time fan favorite Fleury will go up against his former team.

The game will be an absolute joy to watch, but so many questions are raging in the minds of Penguin fans right now.

Is this our version of a kung fu thriller that sees the student surpass the master?

In a word: yes. But it’s more like Neo and Morpheus sparring than Vader trying to merc Ben Kenobi. Via The Athletic, Murray still admires Fleury as a Penguin and a player.

There is no animosity there, but a head to head contest between the two is still a prominent story line. Murray is still convincing people he was the right choice to protect in the past year’s expansion draft. Fleury is out to prove that despite his age, he can perform at high level.

Is it OK to root for Fleury?

Absolutely, yes. The Flower was instrumental in bringing three Stanley Cups to Pittsburgh. Even as an opponent, you want this guy to succeed. That being said, each team still be striving for the win. Don’t root for the Golden Knights, but root for number 29.  Maybe the Penguins win 1 – 0 in a shootout and we get the best of both worlds.

How is Vegas actually this good?

This is a question that is baffling the hockey world. After their hot start, many were expecting a regression. But they’re still winning. They sit 2nd in the Pacific division with 40 points and rank 3rd in the NHL with 3.43 goals/game. Players like William Karlsson and Erik Haula are having the seasons of their careers, performing well in expanded roles.

This Vegas team started with a chip on it’s shoulder. They’re a bunch of vets who were basically deemed “no good enough” by their former teams. It’s no wonder they came out flying.

The sweetest revenge is living well. And VGK is living well.

Don’t forget, the game isn’t on until 10 PM EST tonight. Go Pens.

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