Beaulieu battling through season of broken bones

Advertisement

Advertise with us

YOU would think if you could count on one hand how many goals you’ve scored in the last four seasons you would remember them all, but apparently that isn’t the case.

Read this article for free:

or

Already have an account? Log in here »

To continue reading, please subscribe with this special offer:

All-Access Digital Subscription

$1.50 for 150 days*

  • Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
  • Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
  • Access News Break, our award-winning app
  • Play interactive puzzles
Continue

*Pay $1.50 for the first 22 weeks of your subscription. After 22 weeks, price increases to the regular rate of $19.00 per month. GST will be added to each payment. Subscription can be cancelled after the first 22 weeks.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/02/2020 (905 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

YOU would think if you could count on one hand how many goals you’ve scored in the last four seasons you would remember them all, but apparently that isn’t the case.

In the Winnipeg Jets’ 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday night at Bell MTS Place, defenceman Nathan Beaulieu scored the game-winner to snap a 59-game scoring drought. It was his first goal with the Jets and his last NHL goal was Nov. 27, 2018, when he helped the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 overtime win over the San Jose Sharks.

“Nah,” said Beaulieu, when asked if he remembered the last time he found the back of the net. “I know it was in Buffalo, but I don’t remember.”

Daniel Crump / Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg Jets defencemen Nathan Beaulieu's game-winning goal in a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday night at Bell MTS Place was his first goal in 59 games.

Beaulieu had a more typical night at the office on Tuesday at Bell MTS Place, playing his defensive role in 15:51 of ice time and being a plus-2 while also serving a minor penalty in the third period.

While Beaulieu’s offensive outings are few and far between, that doesn’t mean the 27-year-old Strathroy, Ont., native isn’t a player whose teammates could learn a thing or two from.

It’s been well documented how Beaulieu’s first full season with the Jets hasn’t gone according to plan. He’s only played 28 games as he’s found himself on the injured list three times. Beaulieu, who re-signed with the Jets in the off-season on a one-year, US$1-million contract, was acquired from the Sabres at last year’s trade deadline.

“Well, off the ice, he has just been a great story of resilience and determination. He’s had three broken bones in a contract year,” said Jets head coach Paul Maurice after Tuesday’s morning skate.

“He wants to play. So you watch him every day go through the healing process and then get back on the ice and how hard he pushed himself. He just drove himself to come back. And when he did come back, the next shift, if a blocked shot had to happen, he was blocking that shot. He didn’t come back to play safe. He dropped the gloves in the first one. He’s right back into the fight. So, all of them, defenceman and forwards, he’s been a real good example of leadership and determination and an all-in team guy.”

Beaulieu said this season has been less than ideal, but he’s glad he’s able to play now when the games are really starting to matter. Unlike last season, Beaulieu finds himself in more of a leadership role for the first time in his career. With the Jets losing veteran defencemen Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Myers, Jacob Trouba and Ben Chiarot, Beaulieu knew he’d have to have more of a voice in the locker room this season.

“I mean, we got a pretty young back end. There’s not a lot of games played,” said Beaulieu, hours before the team acquired 26-year-old blue-liner Dylan DeMelo in a trade with the Ottawa Senators.

“It’s weird for me being one of the (veterans) on the back end. Generally, I have been the younger guy in my career, so it’s definitely new for me, but something I embrace for sure.”

When Beaulieu entered the league in 2012 after he was chosen 17th overall by the Montreal Canadiens, Josh Gorges was the veteran that helped him adjust to playing in the league. The two were teammates in Montreal and Buffalo. Now Beaulieu will have some help in that role when DeMelo, who has 259 NHL games on his resumé, joins the team. However, even if that trade didn’t happen or any others didn’t get made, Beaulieu said the team believes their inexperienced back end can get the Jets into the post season.

“You want to control what you can control and that’s always something that’s completely out of our hands,” he said. “But all I can say is we definitely believe in the group we have in this locker room.”

taylor.allen@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @TaylorAllen31

Taylor Allen

Taylor Allen
Reporter

Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of...

Report Error Submit a Tip

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Sports

LOAD MORE SPORTS