Marc-Andre Fleury was dominant as the COVID season began and continued some of the best puck-stopping of his career throughout the shortened, chaotic, and exhausting Vegas Golden Knights 2020-21 regular season. Robin Lehner fought injury and returned to hold up his end of the bargain, too.
Together, the Golden Knights goalies won the William M. Jennings Trophy as the goalies for the team, which allowed the fewest goals.
The award is the first for VGK. The Golden Knights duo allowed only 124 goals this season, which beat the New York Islanders goalie tandem (128).
Fleury, 36, was spectacular this season. He is among the leaders in wins (3rd; 26), shutouts (3rd; 6), goals-against average (4th; 1.98) and save percentage (5th; .928). Fleury is the first goaltender in League history to claim his first individual NHL Award in his 17th season or later.
Lehner, 29, also won the award with the New York Islanders in 2018-19. He is the seventh goalie to win with multiple teams (Ed Belfour, Jaroslav Halak, Dominik Hasek, Manny Fernandez, Patrick Roy, and Roman Turek).
Fleury posted a 19-save shutout on Wednesday night as the Golden Knights kept up the pressure on the Colorado Avalanche for first place, and the first seed, in the Honda West Division.
Marc-Andre Fleury finished the season 4-0-0 in May with a .944 save percentage and a paltry 1.23 GAA.
Lehner was 6-1-1 in April but stumbled in May with a 1-2-0 record, an .859 save percentage, and a 3.63 GAA.
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer has not named a starter for the playoffs. One may recall the controversy last summer when he chose Lehner, and Fleury’s agent Allan Walsh used Twitter to post an eye-popping illustration of DeBoer stabbing Fleury in the back.
To win the Jennings Trophy, a goalie had to make 17 appearances this season, so Oskar Dansk and Logan Thompson won’t share in the trophy. Dansk won his only start when he stopped 25 of 29 shots in the Golden Knights March 5 win over the San Jose Sharks.
Thompson, of course, made two saves during his eight-minute relief appearance against Minnesota on March 10.
The Golden Knights are still awaiting their fate as the Colorado Avalanche must win on Thursday night to claim the West Division, or Vegas will be the top seed.