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Greatest Moments

Greatest Moments of NHL Season … So Far: first round, matchup 9

Golden Knights goalie Fleury's save takes on Blackhawks rookie Kubalik's 30th goal

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Greatest Moments: Matchup 9

Fleury's big save vs. Kubalik's 30th goal

Vote between Marc-Andre Fleury's incredible diving glove save vs. Dominik Kubalik's 30th goal in the Greatest NHL Moments ... So Far

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The 2019-20 NHL season had many incredible moments before it paused on March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, and now fans can decide which one was the best.

The Greatest Moments of the NHL season … So Far have been placed into a bracket of 64 entries, and fans will vote on one matchup per day, ultimately deciding the greatest moment up until this point.

Fans can vote on Twitter and Instagram each day from noon until 10 a.m. ET the next day. Each day, the winner of that matchup will be revealed, and a new set of moments will go head-to-head.

Though fans will have the ultimate say, two NHL.com staff members will weigh in on the matchup each day to give his or her opinion on which one should advance to the next round.

In the matchup Monday, the St. Louis Blues raising their Stanley Cup banner defeated Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers trading a puck for candy.

The matchup Tuesday pits Chicago Blackhawks rookie forward Dominik Kubalik scoring his 30th goal of the season March 11 against Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury robbing Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nic Petan of a near-certain goal Nov. 19. 

 

Rob Reese, fantasy editor

Fleury making another highlight-reel save is impressive, but given the preseason expectations of rookie forwards Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils and Kaapo Kakko of the New York Rangers, who were selected No. 1 and No. 2 in the 2019 NHL Draft, I have to pick Kubalik reaching 30 goals. Kubalik leads NHL rookies with 30 goals and rookie forwards with 46 points. He's second on the Blackhawks in goals behind right wing Patrick Kane (33) and third in points after Kane (84) and forward Jonathan Toews (60). Kubalik's 30 goals are tied with Artemi Panarin (2015-16) for the fourth most in a season by an NHL rookie since 2015-16, behind Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs (40, 2016-17), Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets (36, 2016-17) and Kyle Connor of the Jets (31, 2017-18), and his average of 1.69 goals per 60 minutes is first among all rookies to play at least 30 games in that span. That number means he would have scored even more with additional ice time; his average of 14:22 per game is seventh among Blackhawks forwards. Kubalik's 30th goal was a blistering one-timer scored in a 6-2 win against the San Jose Sharks, and considering he's so far surpassed expectations, I'll take the rookie goal-scoring leader over an impressive save.

Video: SJS@CHI: Kubalik goes top shelf off Dach's slick feed

 

Barry Rubinstein, manager, assignments

Sure, Kubalik is a nice story, but I think the definition of a great moment should indeed be a moment, and Fleury's remarkable save here certainly qualifies for that. The Golden Knights goalie made an amazing grab, robbing Petan of a sure goal with an open net to shoot at in an eventual 4-2 Vegas win at T-Mobile Arena. Petan got the puck after the initial shot by Toronto forward Ilya Mikheyev caromed off the crossbar. The only way Fleury could stop it was to dive and hope, and his glove was in the right place at the right time. To me, the best part of the sequence is Fleury flashing a grin afterward. "It was fun, a little lucky," he said. "I just enjoyed it, got a little giggle, a little smile. I was happy it didn't go in." You have to be lucky to be good, but you also have to be good to be lucky, which is a given in Fleury's case.

Video: TOR@VGK: Fleury makes incredible glove save on Petan

Tweet from @NHL: The @StLouisBlues raising their first Stanley Cup banner advances! Which are you taking today: Marc-Andre Fleury's unreal save or rookie Dominik Kubalik's 30th goal of the season? 🤔VOTE ������

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