Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck was not at all happy he was pulled from the net in the Jets recent loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. While he admits that his performance wasn’t A+, he didn’t think he was having a terrible game, even though he’d allowed three goals on six shots.
No goalie wants to be pulled. In this case, Hellebuyck believes had he been given the chance to battle back, people would have been viewing his performance much differently than they are now. He thinks he should’ve been allowed to try and finish what he started in the game against the Maple Leafs and while he wouldn’t go into detail about his feelings, you could tell he wasn’t happy.
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“I don’t think I should have pulled. That’s as far as I’ll go on that,” he said. But, he did say more. “I don’t think last game was an off game. I felt fine in the net. I’m not gonna lie and say I was A-plus material, but I thought the game that I had was good enough to win.” He went on to say, “It was only going to get better if I was given the opportunity to grow in that game.”
Hellebuyck asked people to look at things from his perspective. He asked what if he had finished the game allowing only three goals on 30 shots? This would be an entirely different conversation and the fact he was pulled when the score was 3-2, it wasn’t like Winnipeg was clearly out of it at that point or that his being yanked was a mercy pull by the coach.
He Blames the New NHL
While Hellebuyck noted he wasn’t having a game to write home about and that it was all unfortunate to have happened in the first period, he noted, “this is the new NHL” and said you’ve got smaller equipment and you’re going to get bad bounces every once and a while. “You’ve just got to accept it and try to improve from it.”
He said that he got all those bad bounces and didn’t come up huge for the team right off the bat is what made his getting yanked from the net such a big deal.
We’ll see if coach Paul Maurice is quick to pull him the next time his goaltender let’s in a couple iffy goals early in a game. Something tells us that conversation has already been had.
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