Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins Stronger with Two No. 1 Goalies

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

Marc-Andre Fleury had every right to be upset. 

The former Stanley Cup champion watched last spring as rookie goaltender Matt Murray led the Penguins to the franchise's fourth Cup title in 2016 while rewriting the NHL record books. 

But Fleury handled the situation exactly as one would expect: with aplomb. 

"I'm more of a day-to-day guy," said Fleury following his first informal practice at the UPMC Lemieux Complex on Thursday. "I go with the flow, and just try to practice hard, play hard, have fun while doing it, be a good teammate, and see what happens." 

Fleury, 31, was a true professional throughout the entire process during the playoffs, acting as a mentor to the young Murray. 

"(Fleury) was a big emotional support guy for me the whole playoff run," Murray said. "He was a big part of the reason I was able to stay relaxed and stay focused because he would crack a joke at the right time or give me advice when I needed it. He's done it. He's one of the best in the world."

Before departing for the summer, Fleury sat down and had a talk with Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford and head coach Mike Sullivan about the future. Fleury is on board with those discussions, and is exactly where he wants to be. 

"(Pittsburgh) is my home. I wish I could play here my whole career," he said. "I try my best to do good for the team and the organization, and hopefully stay here for a long time.

"I've been fortunate to play here for a long time. I'm still young. I still want to be here. You just have to be able to deal with it." 

Video: Fleury speaks with the media after today's skate

Fleury was the Penguins MVP early in the 2015-16 season, keeping them afloat while the offense struggled to find its way. 

Fleury was critical in the team's impressive run in March that catapulted them from a fringe playoff position and into a second-place lock in the Metro Division. He won eight of his last nine contests in the month with a 1.98 goals-against average in that stretch before suffering a concussion that ended his regular season. 

Murry stepped in with Fleury hurt and caught fire. Both goalies can claim leading their team to a championship on their resumes. 

The Penguins will not only enter the season with virtually the same lineup that won the 2016 Stanley Cup - minus Ben Lovejoy, Beau Bennett and Jeff Zatkoff - but will also have the best 1-2 punch in goal in the NHL. 

Fleury's accomplishments go without saying. He led the Penguins to a Stanley Cup championship in 2009 and is the franchise leader in wins (357), shutouts (43) and playoff shutouts (8). He has eight seasons of 34 wins or more, and will be entering his 13th season in Pittsburgh, the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2003. 

Murray, who is currently suiting up for Team North America in the World Cup of Hockey, became a goaltending sensation when he filled in for the injured Fleury during the stretch run of the regular season and the playoffs. 

Murray, the Penguins' third-round pick (83rd overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft, tied an NHL record for playoff wins by a rookie goaltender with 15 while becoming just the fourth rookie tender to lead his team to a Stanley Cup championship. 

Having two talented and accomplished netminders is a benefit to everyone. 

"It's good for the team," Fleury said. "Both guys can play, can win."

How the goaltending rotation plays out remains to be seen, but both players will do their best and accept the way things unfold. 

"It's out of my control," Murray said. "I just focus on my game, play as best I can in practice and games, work on getting better each and everyday. Whatever their decision will be their decision. That's not my place to worry about."

"The bottom line is winning games," Fleury said. "It doesn't matter who's in the net."

View More