Sometimes, stuff happens: Hutchinson

Mishandling puck something in every goalie’s blooper reel

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The curses came in the immediate aftermath. And, undoubtedly, Michael Hutchinson will spit out a few more expletives when he sits down for a video session of his latest handiwork with goaltending coach Wade Flaherty.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/12/2014 (2976 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The curses came in the immediate aftermath. And, undoubtedly, Michael Hutchinson will spit out a few more expletives when he sits down for a video session of his latest handiwork with goaltending coach Wade Flaherty.

The Winnipeg Jets rookie goaltender had made very few bloopers through the first 10 games of the 2014-15 season, but his gaffe in Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks will be circled in red.

The Ducks were leading 2-1 late in the second period when the Jets were sent to the power play. But the man advantage turned sour when Hutchinson misplayed a puck outside of his crease — fumbling it to the point where it slid into the side of the net — before putting a pass into Dustin Byfuglien’s skates.

John Woods / The Canadian Press Anaheim Ducks Ryan Getzlaf (15) scores as Tim Jackman (18) jumps in front of Winnipeg Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson (34) as Jets Matt Halischuk (15) defends during the second period of Saturday's game.

Ryan Getzlaf gobbled up the miscue and fed Nate Thompson alone in front for the back-breaker goal that put the Ducks ahead 3-1 en route to their seventh straight win.

“It’s just one of those things that when you play the puck over the course of the year it’s going to happen,” said Hutchinson. “Obviously it’s unfortunate it did. Buff and I kind of messed up our hand-off there. It wasn’t the end of the world. I think just after that everyone else, myself included, got too focused on the guy behind the net and kinda forgot about the guy in the slot who was the dangerous guy.

“It’s just one of those things when you play the puck as a goalie… every goalie, Marty Turco, Marty Brodeur, they gave the puck away at times. You know it’s going to happen, the important thing is recovering from it and knowing where everyone is on the ice.”

Asked how he resets after such a mistake, Hutchinson didn’t mince words: Shake it off ASAP and, if inclined, save the self-loathing for later.

“You just forget about it right away,” Hutchinson said. “It’s embarrassing that it happens, but there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s just like any goal you let in: You forget about it.

“At practice the next day and watching it on video is where you can go over it and beat yourself up about it a little bit more. But during the game you just try to forget about it and try and make the next saves and bear down for your team when you give up one like that.”

Jets coach Paul Maurice said afterward he gave zero thought to replacing Hutchinson with Ondrej Pavelec for the third period. Hutchinson was steady in the third, stopping all seven shots he faced (the Ducks’ fourth goal was into an empty net).

“It never crossed my mind, ever, to take him out of that game,” said Maurice. “He had played hard. There will be a couple of people who can take a piece of that mistake. Over the course of 82 games our goalies are going to have things that happen to them that you don’t like.

“But it never once crossed my mind taking him out. He didn’t deserve to come out. I don’t think it would have changed the momentum of the game. He earned the right to stay in.

“I really had no problem with his game whatsoever.”

Interestingly, the three goals against did bump Hutchinson out of the NHL lead in goals-against average. He is second now to Nashville’s Pekka Rinne (1.81 to 1.78) but remains the league leader in save percentage at .937.

“That (his third period) was huge,” said Hutchinson. “After you have a period where things don’t really go your way, it’s always nice to get right back into it and be able to make some saves and give the team a chance to come back… especially when you’re down. You don’t want to give up that extra goal to give them a three-goal lead. You just really have to bear down and try and help the team.”

NO. 9 RETURNS: Evander Kane was back in the Jets lineup after serving his two-game suspension. He began the game working on a line with Adam Lowry and Matt Halishcuk, but opened the third period with Mark Scheifele and Michael Frolik, with Mathieu Perreault moved to the left side with Lowry.

Kane finished the game with a game-high seven hits, but did not register a shot on goal.

“He had seven hits, he was physical, he moved around the lineup a little bit,” said Maurice. “He was fine.”

NUMBERS GAME: Getzlaf now has 12 points in his last seven games against the Jets/Thrashers… Frederik Andersen made his 18th consecutive start in the Ducks net and the club is 11-3-4 over that stretch… The Jets opened the scoring on a goal by Bryan Little, marking the 11th time in their last 12 games they have scored first… Both the Jets and Anaheim have power-play goals in four consecutive games… Anaheim is now 14-0-2 on the season when leading after two periods; the Jets are 0-7-3 on the season when trailing after two periods.

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

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