Brossoit has his buddy’s back
Jets goaltender stands tall for teammate
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 02/02/2021 (674 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
There were more than just two points on the line for Winnipeg Jets goalie Laurent Brossoit when he took his place in net ahead of Tuesday night’s game against the visiting Calgary Flames.
Brossoit, who was making his first start since Jan. 24, also had his close friend and fellow Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck on his mind. On Monday, Hellebuyck was visibly upset following a 4-3 shootout loss to the Flames. His anger eventually boiled over, resulting in Hellebuyck smashing his stick on the crossbar and then requiring a moment with goalie coach Wade Flaherty to finally settle down.
Needless to say, Brossoit took that as motivation, turning it into a 3-2 win over the Flames the next night.
“Hundred per cent (it mattered). Me and Helly have gotten close over our stint here and he gets really intense and yesterday was one of those games he really wanted to win for us,” Brossoit, who made 29 saves in the victory, said. “It was important that we as a team battled back and not lose two in a row.”
“Hundred per cent (it mattered). Me and Helly have gotten close over our stint here and he gets really intense and yesterday was one of those games he really wanted to win for us.”
– Laurent Brossoit
Brossoit entered the game with a 1-1-0 record in two starts this season, with a 3.46 goals-against average and .911 save percentage. He opened 2021 with a 4-3 overtime victory against the Ottawa Senators, stopping 38 shots, but fell just short of a win a week later when the Jets were downed by the Edmonton Oilers. What made it more difficult to swallow was the winning goal was scored with .7 seconds remaining in regulation.
“He looked like he was right on, right from the get-go, even though they weren’t sitting on a lot of shots that they got credit for. He made some really good saves. I think he’s going to have… the thing I’m most excited about was how he was able to get himself so sharp after a tough loss (against Edmonton),” Jets head coach Paul Maurice said.
“He’s in the backup role with a Vezina Trophy winner, which means your competition is different. You’re there to support (Hellebuyck) and the two of them have a spectacular relationship. And then he has a tough night and then it’s almost personal for him. He was great tonight. Right from the start and straight through the game. The difference in the game for us. We worked hard but our goaltender gave us a chance to win, for sure.”
At first glance, it looked like it was going to be an easy night for Brossoit. Unlike his previous outings this season, he wasn’t forced to face a flurry of shots until the late stages of the game. The Flames had just 14 shots through two periods, though that included a number of quality chances, including stopping Dillon Dube on a breakaway in the second period.
Most of the work came in what turned out to be an exciting third frame. Brossoit registered 16 saves in the final 20 minutes, turning aside two particularly tough shots from Matthew Tkachuk and Noah Hanifin while the Jets were on the penalty kill. He then needed to make an acrobatic stop on Johnny Gaudreau in the dying seconds, a play in which he charged out of the net to make the save and secure the puck.
“To be honest, I kind of caught him late. I didn’t realize he was there until the puck was halfway there,” Brossoit said. “So I had to make an aggressive play because I was kind of behind it. I gave a big push towards him, try to take away as much space as I could and I was lucky enough to get a piece of it.”
Maurice will return to Hellebuyck for the third of four straight games against the Flames, when the two teams meet Thursday night.
After a slew of injuries playing hockey that included breaks to the wrist, arm, and collar bone; a tear of the medial collateral ligament in both knees; as well as a collapsed lung, Jeff figured it was a good idea to take his interest in sports off the ice and in to the classroom.
Updated on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 12:10 AM CST: Adds photo, pullquote.