Winnipeg Jets’ backup goaltender Laurent Brossoit doesn’t get a ton of playing time behind the Vezina Trophy-winning Connor Hellebuyck, but when he’s been given the crease this season, he’s been very good.
Brossoit Has Returned to Form
In five starts this season, Brossoit is 4-1-0 with a minuscule 2.19 goals-against-average and a sparkling .936 save percentage. He has the Jets’ only shutout this season, blanking his hometown Canucks on Feb. 19 with a 29-save performance.
Brossoit’s most recent start came on Tuesday, where he stopped 31 in a 5-2 victory against, once again, the Canucks.
It’s a return to form for the Port Alberni, B.C. native, whose numbers took a nosedive in 2019-20, his second season with the Jets.
Last season, he was not particularly effective and did not provide Hellebuyck with high-quality relief. He largely struggled, posting a 6-7-1 record, 3.28 GAA, and .895 SV% in 19 appearances and 15 starts. He allowed a number of softies and his rebound control and positioning were often suspect. His struggles were part of the reason Hellebuyck had to take on a heavier workload than nearly any other goalie in the NHL.
Despite his down season, the Jets re-signed him to a one year deal in October to allow top goaltending prospect Mikhail Berdin more time to develop in the KHL, and since February, in the AHL with the Manitoba Moose.
That decision appears to be a good one. Brossoit’s numbers are even better than the 2.52 GAA and .925 save percentage he posted in 2018-19 upon signing with the Jets as a free agent.
Brossoit’s game can be best described as “big and boring.” He’s at his best when his movement is economical and he is using his 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame to his advantage. He also thrives in high-shot volume games, which backups disproportionately see due to making more starts on tail-ends of back-to-backs.
Brossoit “Powerful,” “Underrated,” Says Paul Maurice
“He’s just so powerful getting from post to post,” the head coach said after Brossoit’s shutout. “The rebound control… he had a real good handle on the first shot and puck the puck where he needed to put it, so he was just right on.”
On Brossoit’s ability to stay sharp even after long layoffs, Maurice said “he’s underrated. Rightfully so, Connor Hellebuyck gets all the accolades as he should, he’s a Vezina winner, but our goaltending tandem is just exceptionally strong.”
Brossoit Staying “Grounded and Realistic”
As for Brossoit himself, he’s not getting too caught up on his own success.
“I don’t want to get too confident, too cocky,” he said post-game Tuesday after being asked if it would take a perfect shot to beat him. “It’s a great league, it’s the best league in the world and there’s great players out there, so I like to keep myself pretty grounded and realistic. I just prepare as best I can and hopefully my best is better than anyone else in the league.”Laurent Brossoit
Brossoit is not tooting his own horn, but his ability to play strong when called upon will be a huge boon to the Jets’ quest for a playoff spot. Having him up to the task when the team is gassed will incredibly important as this shortened 2020-21 campaign sprints on, as every point is crucial and days off continue to be scarce.
In fact, the Jets have more than one day of rest in a row just three more times between now and the end of the season on May 8.
Declan Schroeder is a 26-year-old communications specialist and freelance journalist in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He holds a diploma in Creative Communications with a major in journalism from Red River College and a bachelors in Rhetoric and Communications from the University of Winnipeg.
Deeply rooted in the city’s hockey culture, the original Jets skipped town when he was two and the 2.0 version came onto the scene when he was 17.