Connor Hellebuyck had as bad a start as you could imagine for any goaltender in the NHL. He couldn’t keep the crease locked down for the Winnipeg Jets and found himself splitting time with counter-part Michael Hutchinson. Things have improved since with the shut-down play we’ve been seeing from Hellebuyck in the last few games.
Four Game Win-Streak
Hellebuyck has started the last five games for the Jets, earning four wins, all while allowing two goals or less in each win. The four game win-streak has come against Arizona, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Chicago. While the Coyotes aren’t considered a top threat team, by any means, the Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, and Chicago Blackhawks are all recognized as top teams in the Western Conference. To beat each one, dating back to November 8th, is a major win for both Hellebuyck and a young Winnipeg Jets team.
Hellebuyck brought his A-game to each of these games and provided the Jets with an opportunity to win through his strong play. Let’s see how long he can keep the win streak going now that he has found a rhythm.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Hellebuyck’s winning streak is reflected in his stats, which prove his dominance over the last week and a bit. During this four-game stretch, he is 4-0-0 with a save percentage of .946 and a goals-against-average (GAA) of 1.50, a complete turnaround from his numbers at the start of the year when he struggled. Now, it looks like the goaltender could take over the crease in Winnipeg.
I mean, he did shutout the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday night, a team that’s tied for fourth in scoring league-wide. He’s finding his groove, and the Jets have put their full trust in him by giving him the starts he needed to find his game. Even head coach Paul Maurice has been praising Hellebuyck as of late. Now that he’s on top of his game and has everybody buying in, what numbers can he add to his totals moving forward?
Hellebuyck is now 7-4-0 in 11 starts to kickoff the 2016-17 season, but that record looks like it could improve if things continue to shake-up well for the Michigan-native. The Jets look like they’re ready to roll with their hot hand going forward, and Hellebuyck is proving that he is up for the challenge.
The Jets are back in action Thursday night to take on the Philadelphia Flyers. Let’s see if their new starter can keep the ball rolling and earn a much-needed win to stay in playoff contention.
4th year Sport Management student at Brock University.