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Connor Hellebuyck played “the best hockey of his life” during the playoffs
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

On Tuesday night, the Winnipeg Jets’ season came to an end. Despite an excellent regular season, the Manitoba outfit couldn’t find the answers against the Avalanche, who ran right over the Jets’ bodies.

The Jets won the first game of the series by a score of 7-6… but after that, the Avalanche dominated the rest of the series.

We’ve talked about Sean Monahan being completely invisible for the Jets in the playoffs, but the big reason for the club’s failure was Connor Hellebuyck’s difficult series.

The goaltender, who should win the Vézina Trophy, maintained a 5.01 goals-against average and a 0.870 save percentage in the five games of the series. Not ideal.

However, at his end-of-season press briefing this morning, Hellebuyck had some surprising things to say: in his opinion, he played “the best hockey of his career” in the last series.


Hellebuyck says he was in a zone where he wasn’t thinking on the ice and was just playing. This is the state he normally tries to reach, and against the Avalanche, he succeeded in achieving it.

That said, even though he was in the zone, he says he couldn’t see half the pucks that entered the net. He gives credit to the Avalanche in this respect, and admits he’s heartbroken after his team’s defeat.

Is he trying to send a message to his defense, which didn’t get the job done during the series? Maybe he is.

But it’s still rather peculiar to hear such comments from a goaltender who, in spite of himself, didn’t get the job done in the series. He’s far from the only culprit in his team’s elimination, but a bit like Carey Price in the playoffs in the final in 2021, he couldn’t steal games on his own, which is what his club needed.

I wonder how his teammates felt about it, quite frankly.

In bursts

– Sad news. Our thoughts are with Serge Savard and family.

– Nick Suzuki is looking forward to the Presidents Cup.

– Great read.

– A beautiful moment.

– Well deserved.

– To listen.

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