NHL.com’s Nicholas J. Cotsonika penned an article in which Chris Osgood compared resumes with Marc-Andre Fleury, who’s reclaimed his reputation as a tremendous clutch goalie with the Vegas Golden Knights:
“As your career goes along and you’re in one place, sometimes change is good,” Osgood said. “Murray was there [in Pittsburgh]. He’d won a Cup. Murray’s a great teammate, but at the same time, I think the change of scenery was great for [Fleury].
“Not that you’d ever think this was going to happen on an expansion team. No way. But he’s the centerpiece of that. You’ve got a goalie that’s won the Cup. Put him on that team, that’s the difference-maker. He’s proven that all year. … Not only that, he’s a great guy. He does everything the right way, and now he’s getting rewarded for it.”
Osgood said he thought if Fleury hadn’t sustained a concussion and missed two months of the regular season, he probably would have won the Vezina. Among goaltenders who played at least 45 games, Fleury tied with Antti Raanta of the Arizona Coyotes for first in goals-against average (2.24) and tied with Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators for second in save percentage (.927) behind Raanta (.930).
“It’s not easy, and I’ve done it,” Osgood said. “You lose your job. You’re not playing. You have to bring up these young guys, because you’re a good teammate. I see the difference in [Vegas backup Malcolm] Subban when he’s in there too, the way he plays. The trickle-down effect for having a goalie like that is so great on so many different levels, that people don’t even notice. It’s unbelievable to me, from Subban to the players to when times get tough and you know he’s going to play a great game.”