“That means you’ve finally perfected a game,” he said after the Jets edged the Vancouver Canucks 4-0.
“I’ll never say my game is perfect, but for one game, with the guys in front of me, we played a perfect game,” he said. “Certainly there is luck in that and maybe you can find some mistakes, but at the end of the day we look back like we played our A-plus game. And that’s what we want to try and keep moving forward with. ”
Hellebuyck, last year’s winner of the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender, stopped all 22 shots he faced on Monday.
He marked his 21st career shutout. The latest came on March 6, 2020 when the Jets downed the Vegas Golden Knights 4-0.
Hellebuyck’s toughest test on Monday came midway through the second quarter as Zack MacEwen came out of the penalty area after serving a waiting time for a wait call.
The tall Canucks forward picked up the puck in the neutral zone and rushed into Winnipeg territory, waited for a tight Neal Pionk dive and got a solid shot, only to see Hellebuyck make the save.
It was a big win for Winnipeg (19-11-2), who entered Vancouver on a bit of a slippage, having abandoned two decisions in Edmonton – the Jets’ first consecutive losses in regulation this season. .
The team had played well but just didn’t get the results they wanted, Hellebuyck said.
“We have a lot of character in this locker room,” he says. “We needed this one to show that we are playing the right way and not to stray from it. Everyone was playing hard tonight and it really showed. ”
Games in Edmonton were tough for Hellebuyck because he gave up goals on less shots than he was used to, Jets coach Paul Maurice said.
“It’s like a goalscorer – that confidence is essential,” he said. “A zero on the board for a goalie, you can take it with you for a little while. And he deserved it. ”
Maurice felt during the morning skate on Monday that his team had the right humor and the right mentality to achieve a victory.
“They had a really good understanding of the weight of the game after losing two, which we wanted to be right,” he said.
Winnipeg refused to give in after Blake Wheeler opened the scoring halfway through the first period on Monday.
The Jets captain picked the puck over Canucks defenseman Alex Edler and hit the ice in a 2-on-1 breakaway with Paul Stastny.
Nate Schmidt of Vancouver fell on the ice in front of the crease in an attempt to stop a pass but Wheeler kept the puck and slipped a shot through the legs of Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko.
Adam Lowry added a pair of goals in the third and Stastny closed the game, scoring three minutes from time.
Demko stopped 25 of 29 shots for Vancouver (16-17-3).
“I thought it was a close game,” said the goalkeeper. “Coming into third, I felt we were in a pretty good position to put in an effort and tie it up and there was not much that nobody could do in a few of these games. ”
Vancouver was without a key room for much of the third. Captain Bo Horvat hobbled to the locker room in pain after taking a slap in the foot mid-period and did not return to the game.
Seeing the Canucks cross in obvious distress, Lowry and Andrew Copp extended their sticks from the Jets bench and pushed Horvat onto the ice.
“You see a guy come down and he’s having a hard time getting to the bench and you hope someone would do it for you if you were in that position,” Lowry said of the move.
“He’s such a good player for them, an honest player who plays hard. You see a guy falling like that and you just want to get him off the ice. You know how painful it is.
Canucks coach Travis Green did not have an update on Horvat’s health after the game, but the injury could be difficult to overcome for an already exhausted advanced body.
Vancouver’s other three departure centers (Elias Pettersson, Brandon Sutter and Jay Beagle) were all released with various undisclosed ailments on Monday.
The team just need the guys to “take over,” said JT Miller, who has moved from wing to wing in Pettersson’s absence.
“It’s the hardest part of the season. We just have to challenge ourselves to be the best version of ourselves right now, ”he said. “The guys who play these roles will have more time on the ice and we have to play very desperate hockey now.
The Jets and Canucks meet in Vancouver on Wednesday.
NOTES: Both teams scored 0-1 on the power play. ? Sutter missed the game with an undisclosed injury. He was replaced in the roster by Tyler Graovac. ? Earlier Monday, Vancouver called for exemption center Travis Boyd from the Toronto Maple Leafs.