Home Wild’s ‘Gus Bus’ and Fleury Goaltending Tandem Could Be Unstoppable

Wild’s ‘Gus Bus’ and Fleury Goaltending Tandem Could Be Unstoppable

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Last summer, the Minnesota Wild got Marc-Andre Fleury and Filip Gustavsson. Fleury has won the Stanley Cup three times and has been playing in the NHL for 19 years already, so he became the team’s starting goalie. Gustavsson is just 24-years-old, with only 27 starts. He can learn from one of the best goalies in the league.

The Wild team will enter the playoffs with two goalies: Gustavsson and Fleury. The “Gus Bus” is what fans call Gustavsson, and he has been doing really well this season – third in goals against average (2.10) and second in save percentage (.931). This means that overall his performance has been very good!

The general manager Bill Guerin was shocked, saying “We didn’t expect this. It has been amazing!” Everyone agreed that what they were seeing could be a persistent trend and not just luck so they began to think he is actually really good.

In November, Fleury got a little injury and Gustavsson started winning games in a row. From February 11th to March 7th, Gustavsson made eight starts and gave out only 11 goals. Fleury was also very successful from February 23rd to March 19th – he won all of his seven starts.

Fleury started 45 games and Gustavsson got 37 starts, which is the most of any team’s second goalie in all 16 playoffs. Out of those 16 teams only 2 had their main and second goalie get 30 or more starts each: Seattle had Martin Jones start 42 times and Philipp Grubauer with 36, while Edmonton had Stuart Skinner receive 48 plays and Jack Campbell on 34.

Plus, Gustavsson has not been a simple back-up option as he started 16 out of the 28 last games for Minnesota.

The Wild coach, Dean Evason said that all season long they’ve been playing both goalies which makes them feel comfortable. He also added that it would be great if one goalkeeper keeps playing well and this will be their choice to make game by game. So, he hopes that whatever decision they make turns out to be the right one!

Last year, Fleury joined the Wild at the trade deadline and his great skills made them trust him with goaltender position in the first five games of their first-round series against St. Louis. Unfortunately, when the Wild switched to Talbot, it wasn’t fast enough and they lost to the Blues in six games.

Talbot was very sad because the Wild’s team head, Guerin, decided to trade him away to Ottawa even though they had previously planned on bringing both veterans back. Now the Wild must figure out how to make this change in their goalie line-up a good thing instead of just an issue.

Guerin said that it depends on how we and the others will deal with difficult decisions. We have to accept them, no matter what. The Wild trust that Fleury won’t act badly even if he sits on the bench and Gustavsson plays during an important game.

Guerin said that Flower and Gus do not see each other as opponents, but like teammates. Gus has been able to learn from the way Flower manages his difficult times, which has helped him in dealing with his own.

Gustavsson is super popular with his new team – they even gave him a nickname, “Gus Bus”! He’s also got a great sense of humour, he’s always chilled out and he’s easy to talk to. He loves Swedish food so much that he eats mashed potatoes with gravy and little red berries before each game! Fleury’s kids have even made signs for Gustavsson at the games.

Matt Dumba, a defenseman said, “Marc-Andre is a great teammate and he always gives his best effort. He holds himself responsible and fights hard for the team – I’m super excited to have him alongside us on this journey.”

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