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Tag: Connor Hellebuyck

Both Teams Confident Entering Thursday’s Elimination Game

Being up 3-1 in a seven-game series can make a team full of confidence. Especially, coming off back-to-back road wins in Winnipeg. The stage is set for the home team to wrap up the series on Thursday night and advance to the second round. But it can’t be that easy.

The message for us is we haven’t won anything yet. You need to win four, right? -Bruce Cassidy

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke,

Clearly, the Golden Knights are feeling good about their position and history shows that they should be. In NHL history, only 31 teams have blown a series up 3-1, while 299 went on to win the round.

Five times in Vegas history, the team has been up 3-1 and won 4 out of the 5 playoff series. Twice the organization sealed the deal in Game 5 and the other two series went the distance in Vegas’ favor. Overall, it’s been highly difficult for opponents to overcome a tw0-game series deficit to the Golden Knights. But the Jets don’t seem too worried about the past.

At this point, you just take it one game at a time. We don’t need three, we need one and we’ll go from there. A bounce here, a bounce there and things can go well. I think we have the character in our room to do something special and to do something great. And like we said, we’re looking for one game. We need one game and we’ll move on to the next one and we’ll prepare the same way… We’re inches away from really flipping the script on this. -Connor Hellebuyck, Jets goalie

It hasn’t been a walk in the park for Hellebuyck throughout the first four games of the series. He’s allowing more goals per game, making fewer saves, and has recorded only one quality start in the postseason. The Golden Knights have gotten to the Jets goaltender early and often, but they haven’t broken his or his teammates’ confidence.

We haven’t had good luck so far. We’ve been playing pretty good though, despite all of our adversity. Now, we have to make sure our heads are right and know we’re in for the grind and we’re not out yet. It’s a bounce here, a bounce there. And we’re not asking for a ton, we’re asking for one a game. That’s all we need. We haven’t gotten it yet, and you’d imagine it would show itself at some point. -Hellebuyck

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Reaching Three Goal On Connor Hellebuyck Will Advance VGK To Next Round

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

If the first night of the playoffs is any indication of what Game 1 between Vegas and Winnipeg will be like, get ready for an emotional evening. In four games, two home and two away teams won and all but one went under the total. Betting numbers aside, the play was low-scoring, nasty, physical, and tight. If tonight’s game trends the same it could benefit the visiting Jets.

Look at the history of our sport. How many Conn Smythe winners have been goalies? Whoever is going to win the Stanley Cup is going to get outstanding goaltending from the first playoff game on. We know Connor is going to give us that. -Rick Bowness, Jets coach

Without a doubt, goaltending is Winnipeg’s biggest strength. Historically, Vegas has had success against Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, including three victories this season. In 11 total games, the Golden Knights averaged 2.99 goals per game against the 2020 Vezina Award winner. It’s important for Vegas’ offense to continue their scoring average on Hellebuyck. The numbers are clear.

VGK Offense vs. Connor Hellebuyck

  • VGK Record When Offense Scores 3+ Goals: (47-3-2)
  • WPG Record When Hellebuyck Allows 0-2 Goals: (32-4-0)

Fans hear it every postseason; the team that scores three goals will likely win a playoff game. Vegas should feel good about their ability to average three or more per postseason game. The Golden Knights pulled it off 52 times in the regular season and won 47 of those games. However, it’ll be a bigger challenge to average three goals a game in their opening-round matchup with Winnipeg.

Hellebuyck Record Per Goals Allowed

  • Exactly 3 Goals Allowed: (1-12-0)
  • 4 Or More Goals Allowed: (4-9-1)
  • Total Record Allowing 3+ Goals: (5-21-1)

Three out of the four winning teams last night scored three or more goals. Dating back to last season, seven out of the eight Game 1 victors registered 3+ goals. That key number is even more crucial for both Vegas and Winnipeg.

We’re capable of winning. There is no question. We’re here to win. We’re not here to give these guys a little workout and move on to the next round. We’re here to win. -Bowness, Jets coach

Tonight’s game will likely be exciting, intense, and with little room to shoot on net. If Vegas can solve Hellebuyck and get to their three-goal mark, past results suggest success. Hellebuyck’s numbers are outstanding when a game is low-scoring and tight but when a game becomes offensive and open the Golden Knights hold an enormous edge.

Vezina Candidate Being Outplayed By Conn Smythe Favorite

Hellebuyck had no chance on this one, but the other two… (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Like all sports, NHL award voting takes place before the postseason begins. This season, both the Vegas Golden Knights and Winnipeg Jets have several award nominees. One of which is Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, who was nominated for the Vezina trophy along with Eastern Conference finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy, and amateur golfer Pekka Rinne.

Over four games against Vegas, the Vezina nominee has allowed 11 goals and has lost three straight conference final games. Not the trait of a goaltender of the year candidate. Neither is this.

It’s a great effort by Reilly Smith, that’s clear, however Hellenuyck has to have this one. Dustin Byfuglien misses his mark, Smith jumps on the puck and streaks for the net. Hellebuyck had a clear view of Smith’s approach tracking the puck immediately after the turnover. He had plenty of time to get into position. The Golden Knight pulled the trigger at the top of faceoff circle with a good wrist shot, not a great one. Byfuglien’s mishap began the breakout but the Jets goaltender could’ve bailed his teammate out.

Down a game in the Western Conference finals, a reliable goaltender makes that save. Hellebuyck did not.

And that wasn’t even Hellebuyck’s worst mistake of Game 4. He bobbled a seemingly harmless shot from Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, then allowed a rebound shot through the five-hole on Tomas Nosek.

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Jets, Hellebuyck Have Redemption On The Mind

We like when other goalies suck against the Golden Knights. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Last night the Golden Knights lost a frustrating game in Minnesota. Tonight, they face a Winnipeg team that scored seven unanswered goals against the Wild on Monday night. Since leaving the T-Mobile Arena empty-handed, the Jets rebounded by winning seven out of their next ten games. After being yanked against Vegas, goalie Connor Hellebuyck is on a roll winning five out of his last eight starts. Oh, and he’s been looking forward to his start tonight against the Golden Knights.

Because Hellebuyck got pulled against Vegas, I really expect him to get a chance…. it’s not a redemption game necessarily but I think Connor Hellebyuck is saying to Paul Maurice I want another crack at those guys. -Ken Wiebe, Winnipeg Sun on TSN 1290

The Sun scribe goes on to say Hellebuyck was disappointed by the way he performed in Las Vegas.

I always call them redemption games no matter what, if you lose you get right back on the horse and try again. You have that extra motivation and extra energy.”-Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Goaltender on 11/10 following loss to VGK

Hellebuyck’s next start was a 4-1 victory at home against Arizona. He allowed one goal on 34 shots, and was very happy with his bounce back effort. Four days later, the Jets goaltender still had the Golden Knights game on his mind.

This was definitely my redemption game. Any time you get pulled you have to enter strong, and I’m glad the guys played well in front of me. -Hellebuyck on 11/14

Can we all agree the Jets goaltender has been obsessing over tonight’s game since November 10th? In Winnipeg, the Jets are 8-2-1, and Hellebuyck is undefeated in regulation (8-0-1). It’s a tough matchup regardless for the Golden Knights, but the redemption talk could be real. However, Vegas has only lost three games in a row once this season, so it’s possible they’re looking at tonight as redemption game themselves. Either way, someone will feel redeemed.

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