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May 27, 2018

Marc-Andre Fleury

Las Vegas, Nevada: Practice Day

THE MODERATOR: We have Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury at the podium.

Q. Marc-Andre, it was pretty obvious this was not an expansion team at the start of the season, and then it developed, and it was pretty obvious that you guys were going to be a playoff team. At what point did it hit you that this could be a Stanley Cup team?
MARC-ANDRE FLEURY: I don't know. It's tough to say. I don't think there was like a day or a game that made us think that we were it. I think every round we played, everybody picked a team against us. I think we always had to believe in ourselves, be confident in ourselves, but we never looked past anybody. I think we always took every game of every round trying to play our best, and we've been good at it.

Q. You guys have been in the spotlight all season long, but obviously now more than ever. You've been in this situation yourself, but for the guys that haven't been, what's it like seeing them here for the first time and just taking it in? Are you guys relaxed, or is it more just business oriented and focused right now?
MARC-ANDRE FLEURY: I think we have a young group of guys, and for a lot of them it was their first playoff game, right? I thought everybody did very well, and after breaks or before the first game of every round, or even after losses, I thought we were good at just focusing on the next game, playing the way we can, and I think this is no different.

Obviously, it's on a bigger stage, but our game doesn't have to change because of that.

Q. Marc-Andre, just the fun-loving nature, the way you go about your business on the ice, the tapping of the post, is that something you've always done, or was there a moment in your career, whether it was in pros or junior, where maybe you were taking things too seriously and decided, I need to have a little bit more fun?
MARC-ANDRE FLEURY: No, I think I started when I was pretty young. I can't remember when, but I was a big Montreal Canadien fan, and I remember watching Patrick Roy go to his post and saying thank you and stuff, and that's when it started.

Q. This team takes so much pride in being Vegas born, and you guys have embraced the town as much as they've embraced you. But to deliver on the biggest stage in city sports history, what's that really mean to you?
MARC-ANDRE FLEURY: I think it's pretty cool. I'm proud of my teammates, the way that all together as a team and the organization, how they put this team together and where we're at right now. It's been a lot of fun meeting people from Vegas talking about their hockey team. You know, maybe at the beginning of the season we didn't hear too much about it, but the more the season went on, the more people I met saying they were proud of the team.

Obviously, after the October 1st happened, that was something that we -- like Engelland said, tried to do our best to help the city heal, and hopefully we got the city behind us and they were able to cheer for their own team for a few months.

Q. Marc, from your former team with the Penguins, you had a lot of run-ins, got the best of the Capitals. What do you guys see differently out of this Capitals team this year?
MARC-ANDRE FLEURY: I think they look good. I think they look like they're having the best playoffs I've seen, starting with Columbus, when they were down two, and they made their way back to win that series. Then beating the Penguins, they had some troubles with them, and beating Tampa Bay, a team that's considered one of the best in the league.

I think they still have that same offensive skill and ability to score goals, right? So something we've obviously got to be aware of.

I think -- I don't think they were far away the last two years. They always had good teams. It will be a good challenge for sure.

Q. Marc, you've been here multiple times at this level, and they've all been special moments. What particularly is special about this year and this trip to The Finals?
MARC-ANDRE FLEURY: You know, I've been part of an expansion team, and making it here, I think that's special in itself, you know. Really, obviously, very happy to be here. Maybe it wasn't -- nobody expected that, you know. I'm happy that we were able to prove a lot of people wrong. We have a great bunch of guys, great chemistry in the room, and this is a great run so far.

Q. Marc-Andre, I want maybe to follow up, we were talking to Nate downstairs. Nate is sort of a very talkative-type person. He was talking about, in his mind, how he felt this is just -- not that he didn't take it seriously, but this is crazy that you guys have been able to do this. Can you see how some people are just saying this is not supposed to happen? It never happened before. How did you do it? And sort of looking at it in a very serious, but very light way.
MARC-ANDRE FLEURY: I don't know if I got you right.

Q. Nate was talking about how he says this is just crazy. Not that he didn't feel that you had potential, but just the fact that it's all come together, that it's actually happening with an expansion team, something they've never done before. Can you see where it's a bit crazy that it's actually happening that you're here?
MARC-ANDRE FLEURY: Yeah, I think when you -- you know, you stop and think about it, right? It hasn't been done. Nobody expected it. I don't know, I don't think anybody would have seen us here.

It's been fun. The whole season has been fun. We've been having a good time being a part of it. Proud to be part of this team and being able to push those barriers to make it to the final. Hopefully, we can keep going for four more.

Q. Marc-Andre, Jonathan Marchessault said that you carry yourself and act like you're still a first-year player, and I'm wondering, after everything you've accomplished, how you can still remain as humble as you do and where that sense of humility comes from.
MARC-ANDRE FLEURY: I don't know. It's about the game. I love to play, and I still have a good time doing that. I love yelling at the guys in practice when I stop them and stuff. Coming from Pittsburgh, I've been with Sidney, and he was the best player in the world, seeing him every day and the way he handles himself. Obviously, I picked up a lot from him, spending so much time with him. He's somebody I look up to, the way he handles himself and the way he plays on the ice and the way he is off the ice.

Q. Marc, probably more than 100 times in your career, you've gone left to right, looked up and saw Alex Ovechkin in that (indiscernible) circle getting ready to crank one at you. What goes through your head when you know exactly what he's going to do and the puck is coming at 100 miles per hour? What's the challenge like for you mentally?
MARC-ANDRE FLEURY: It is a good challenge. It's get over there and brace because you know it's coming. It's one of the best shots in the league, right? He's been so good at it, scored so many goals from there. So just try to come out and try to get a piece of it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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