CALGARY -- For all the attention being paid outside the organization to the Winnipeg Jets goaltending situation the past week, the mood within the Jets dressing room remains decidedly ho-hum.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 3/2/2015 (2543 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

CALGARY -- For all the attention being paid outside the organization to the Winnipeg Jets goaltending situation the past week, the mood within the Jets dressing room remains decidedly ho-hum.

 

Michael Hutchinson has better numbers than his partner Ondrej Pavelec, but teammates insist it doesn't matter who is between the pipes.

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES

Michael Hutchinson has better numbers than his partner Ondrej Pavelec, but teammates insist it doesn't matter who is between the pipes.

'If you take actually a bigger view of the template of rotation, it's actually just one game change. And that was the last game'‐ Jets coach Paul Maurice

With Michael Hutchinson making his third straight start in net for the Jets here against the Calgary Flames Monday night -- just the second time this season Hutchinson has started three games in a row -- the chatter in Jets nation yesterday was a full-throated wonder if this is finally the moment Hutchinson becomes the Jets No. 1 goaltender.

That Hutchinson didn't finish the game, pulled in the third period after the fourth Flames goal, should put a damper on such rumours for now.

Before the game, Jets head coach Paul Maurice was having none of a goalie controversy, going out of his way following his club's morning skate at Scotiabank Saddledome to dispel any suggestion he is abandoning a goalie rotation of Hutchinson and Ondrej Pavelec that has served him and his team well this season.

'I don't think anything changes with who's back there. They've both been outstanding'‐ Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba

Maurice strongly hinted that he will come back with Pavelec as his netminder when the Jets play in Vancouver against the Canucks on Tuesday night and then start Hutchinson again when the Jets play the Chicago Blackhawks Friday night at MTS Centre.

"If you take actually a bigger view of the template of rotation," explained Maurice, "it's actually just one game change. And that was the last game."

Hutchinson has played eight fewer games than Pavelec this season -- 23 to Pavelec's 31 heading into last night. But it's Hutchinson who had the superior numbers in goals-against-average -- 2.15 vs 2.52 -- and save-percentage -- .927 vs .911.

But while Hutchinson has the edge statistically, the men who have to play in front of the Jets netminders every night insist Pavelec and Hutchinson are interchangeable as far as they're concerned.

Ondrej Pavelec is arguably second on the Jets' depth chart  with a goals-against average of 2.52 to Hutchinson's 2.15.

GENE J. PUSKAR / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILES

Ondrej Pavelec is arguably second on the Jets' depth chart with a goals-against average of 2.52 to Hutchinson's 2.15.

"I guess you could say Hutch probably plays the puck a little bit more, but aside from that nothing changes," Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian said here Monday.

Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba echoed that sentiment. "They both play extremely well and they've both saved us a lot this year," said Trouba. "I don't think anything changes with who's back there. They've both been outstanding."

Jets captain Andrew Ladd marvelled at Hutchinson's quick progression in what is his rookie season, but Ladd stressed the final test is yet to be taken, for Hutchinson and the entire Jets team.

"He's had a great season," said Ladd. "But for everyone in this room, our success is going to be measured by how this thing ends up at the end of the year. Making the playoffs is a goal of ours -- and to make a run.

"So, when you look back at the year, he's made an impact and he's served notice that he's an NHL goalie and he's here to stay. Now, hopefully all of us in this room can finish this up."

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @PaulWiecek

Paul Wiecek

Paul Wiecek
Reporter (retired)

Paul Wiecek was born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End and delivered the Free Press -- 53 papers, Machray Avenue, between Main and Salter Streets -- long before he was first hired as a Free Press reporter in 1989.