Cale Fleury scored his first NHL goal by beating Mackenzie Blackwood with a clear shot from the back end after a fine foray into offensive territory. It took a good deal of confidence to succeed in this type of game on Saturday against the New Jersey Devils.
"I did not want to wait too long before scoring my first goal. It was starting to trot me in the head, I did not want to emulate Victor Mete. "
Fleury hit the target in her 15th match with the CH:
Mete had to wait until his 127th match.
Beyond this statistic, there are even more revealing elements of Fleury's rise in confidence. Claude Julien has trusted his young defender 20 years in the last 12 meetings of his own. Despite the presence of eight defensemen in Montreal, Fleury won a regular position.
"The more I play, the more I gain confidence," said Fleury before the team left for Columbus. I managed to make games that I made all my life. I feel a little more comfortable in the offensive zone. "
"I was not expecting punishments in my NHL rookie season, let alone earlier in the season," he said. But I see that as a good sign. My goal was to gain a place in the training. I did not look further. "
Julien has explained his approach with Fleury since the beginning of the season.
"At first it was part of learning. He played his first games in the NHL. We wanted to give him a chance to get into the training one step at a time.
"Cale patina well, he has a big size, he chained. He scored his first goal against the Devils. It was not his first chance. He has a very good shot. He has several assets that are attractive to a coach. If he strikes a wall later in the season, it may be that we return to the stands.
"We do not know. I do not predict that, but it's part of the evolution of a young person. "