Fleury has removed agent controversial tweet about Golden Knights

Marc-Andre Fleury said he did not want to be a distraction for the Vegas Golden Knights and asked his agent to remove a controversial tweet that suggested coach Peter DeBoer had stabbed the goalkeeper in the back.

The tweet, posted from Allan Walsh’s private account Saturday, painted Fleury with a sword through his chest, with “DeBoer” written on the sword. The tweet has since been deleted.

Fleury handled the situation Sunday and insisted he was OK with the goalkeeping he saw Robin Lehner appear as the number 1 option, and that he had involved everyone, especially his teammates, to clear the air.

“I’ve known these guys for a while now and I do not know, I just want to put this behind me and move on,” Fleury said. “All I care about is winning and what’s best for the team and they know that.”

Fleury, who has been the No. 1 goalie in Vegas since the inaugural season in 2017-18, has twice started this postseason, a 6-4 win against the St. Louis team. Louis Blues in the round-robin portion of the Stanley Cup qualifier and a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Lehner, who received the Golden Knights from the Toronto Maple Leafs after taking over from the Blackhawks on February 24, has started six of eight postseason games for Vegas. He is 5-1-0 with a 2.44 goals against average and .904 saving percentage.

The Golden Knights, the No. 1 seed, play the Vancouver Canucks, the No. 5 seed, in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round at Rogers Place in Edmonton, the hub town of West, on Sunday (10:30) pm ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, SN). Lehner is expected to start despite Fleury being 12-2-2 with a 2.75 GAA and .907 save percentage in 16 games against the Canucks and has not lost in regulation since January 16, 2006.

“Allan has been my agent for a long time,” Fleury said. “I think he’s a guy who always cares about his players and also cares about me. I appreciate his passion for the game he has, maybe [the tweet was] a way to defend myself in that situation to not play much. But I’m here to be with my team and have success and that’s all that matters. So I asked him to take that picture downstairs and he did that this morning. That’s it.”

Fleury, who won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009, 2016 and 2017, is 466-266-80 with two ties, a 2.57 GAA, .913 save percentage and 61 shutouts in 847 NHL games (822 starts) with the Penguins and Golden Knights. He is 80-62 with a 2.59 GAA, .911 save percentage and 15 shutouts in 144 playoff games (142 starts).

He started each of the 20 games in the 2018 playoffs when the Golden Knights lost to the Washington Capitals in five games in the Stanley Cup Final. He was 13-7 with a .927 saving percentage and 2.24 GAA.

DeBoer was appointed coach of the Golden Knights on January 15, following the fire of Gerard Gallant. Vegas, which was 3-0-0 in the round robin, defeated the Blackhawks in five games in the first round of the playoffs.

Lehner, a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the goalie voted best in the NHL, last season when he played for the New York Islanders, is 116-120-45 with a 2.72 GAA, .918 save percentage and 15 shutouts in 301 NHL games (282 starts) with the Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabers, Islanders, Blackhawks and Golden Knights. He is 9-6 with a 2.21 GAA and .923 save percentage in 16 playoff games (14 starts).

While disappointed with his lack of playing time, Fleury insisted that all was well with his relationship with his playing partner.

“It was good to talk, to see where we are,” Fleury said. “We all want to win, right? That’s why we’re here. I do not like a distraction for my team. Also talk to Robin. I really like Robin. We have a good friendship and he is a very good goalkeeper, too. No hard feelings. “