There have been 12 goalies in the history of the NHL to win 400 games. On March 12, 2018, Marc-Andre Fleury became number 13.
With a season that the Vegas Golden Knights were expected to have had it was predicted that if Fleury played some of the best hockey of his career, he could hit the 400 win mark at the end of the season.
Well, that has come true, however, if it weren't for a concussion that pushed Fleury out of the lineup for two months, he would have reached 400 long ago. However here we stand, Fleury, one of the most loveable, respected and well-polished images in the game has reached a milestone that may well push him into the topic of "all-time great".
Often viewed as a good goalie, on a great team, Fleury might just be shaking that label once and for all. For the first time in a while, Fleury is having a Vezina type season. He is playing that well.
That's right, Fleury should be right in the thick of Vezina contention. This not 2008.
With a save percentage well above .920 and a goals-against average that has barely gone over 2.25 all year his numbers are beyond impressive. For most of the season, his numbers have been the best in the league. He has been the Golden Knights most consistent player night in... night out.
To put a cherry on top, there is that personality. That quick to smile, poke checking, practical joker that could win five more Stanley Cups and would most likely still be known as hockey's best friend.
Don't forget though, that Fleury out of any goalie in the league (besides maybe Roberto Luongo) has the best shot at reaching 500 wins in his career. Through the number of highs and lows that Fleury has been through in his career at a certain point after 400 wins it is hard to deny that he is a winner.
In honour of the man they call Flower here are the top 10 regular season moments of Fleury's storied career.
10. Erik Karlson save
One of the better saves ever made at the PPG Paints arena, Fleury goes full send to snag this one.
9. New York Rangers shootout loss… than win
They thought they lost, but after a double tap of the puck, they had one more shot. Fleury gloved Rick Nash's shot for the storybook ending in a building that already evacuated.
8. Detroit shootout win
7. Buffalo win to clinch a playoff birth
The game itself was quite boring but Pittsburgh needed to win the last game of the regular season in order to lock up a playoff spot in 2015. Fleury pitched a shutout.
6. Winnipeg before the trade deadline
The singling of the beginning of the end in Pittsburgh for Fleury, he played a whale of a game against the Winnipeg Jets in front of thousands of adoring and chanting fans.
Not to mention they won and Sidney Crosby picked up his 1,000th point. A teary-eyed Fleury answered questions after the game, knowing it could very well have been his last in a Pittsburgh Penguins' uniform. The fans and players alike later thanked their lucky stars that it wasn’t.
5. Flying fleury in New Jersey
Just watch and enjoy.
4. 400th win in Philly
For a goalie who has played as many games as Fleury, and as many with Pittsburgh as he has... it's oh so fitting he gets win #400 in a barn he may always consider his biggest rival.
3. Pittsburgh Return
An emotional game which saw Fleury play average, but that tribute video will be one that he, his family, and the city of Pittsburgh will remember forever.
2. First game with Vegas
After tragedy had struck and there was a consensus that Vegas would be quite bad, Fleury played one of the best regular season games of his career to start the season. 45 saves and a win that meant not only a lot to the team but the city of Las Vegas.
1. First win vs Detroit
Because it matters where it all began and because Fleury himself said it was the most memorable.
Fleury is now playing in a league that grew up watching him. New goalies in the NHL today or breaking into the league grew up with those yellow pads in plain view. It is one of the greatest honours for a player… someone wanting to be like them.
Fleury's class may always outweigh his performances. His willingness to be a team player will most likely be his legacy. His departure from Pittsburgh may be the closest thing to true loyalty sports has seen in a long time.
Marc-Andre Fleury has blessed the NHL with a stat line that reads… But when it is all said and done, those numbers won't mean nearly as much as the impact he has had on hockey itself. Considering he could very well reach 500 wins, and has three Stanley Cups to his name, to say his impact means more than his numbers is quite the legacy to leave.
The best thing about Fleury's story though is that it isn't over yet.
What's your favourite Flower moment? Comment below.