3. How will Robin Lehner and Marc-Andre Fleury split the load?
One big storyline that dominated the 2019-20 Stanley Cup Playoffs was the goalie controversy that brewed between Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner.
We won’t cover old ground because it is incredibly well-covered, but General Manager Kelly McCrimmon went all out at the Trade Deadline to acquire elite goalie Robin Lehner from the Chicago Blackhawks, giving the Golden Knights an elite tandem between the pipes.
However, Lehner seemed to become the No. 1 starter immediately, which upset Fleury and certainly upset his representatives which led to that now infamous Tweet from his agent Allan Walsh. You know the one, we don’t have to go over it again, okay it involved a sword. Through back. With blood on it. That’s all we’re saying.
It also sparked talks that Fleury could be on the trade block, especially as the Golden Knights went after Alex Pietrangelo in Free Agency, and it did seem as though an ugly divorce was coming between organization and their face of the franchise.
However, a shortened 56-game schedule meant that the need for an elite goalie tandem became even more important and, as such, Vegas committed to both Fleury and Lehner for the 2020-21 season.
So, how will it exactly work?
For starters, one of the biggest reasons the Golden Knights are one of the favorites for the Stanley Cup is because they will have two elite netminders at their disposal, which will be crucial in a condensed 56-game schedule.
Granted, Fleury did regress somewhat in 2019-20 with a 2.77 Goals Against Average and a .905 Save Percentage, but he also proved in the Playoffs that he’s still capable of playing at an incredibly high-level with a 2.27 GAA and a .910 SV%.
Lehner, on the other hand, dominated in the postseason with a stellar 1.99 Goals Against Average and a .917 Save Percentage to go along with four shutouts, standing on his head time and time again.
While the Golden Knights are spending $12 million on two goalies in a flat cap world, they will have a huge advantage heading into the 2020-21 season and, if they can manage both Robin Lehner and Marc-Andre Fleury and keep both happy, then it could be a tasty recipe for success in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.