Hellebuyck explained: How is he THAT good?
WINNIPEG -- Connor Hellebuyck’s numbers are that of an elite NHL goaltender through 30 games of the 2019/2020 regular season.
His 15 wins are tied with Braden Holtby for the most in the league. A .934 save percentage is third amoung netminders who’ve played in at least 10 games, and his 2.20 goals against average is fifth. Only four have played more than his 1,366 minutes this season.
Here are five reasons behind the 26-year-old’s success:
1. He’s got the right mindset
“I guess this summer I had high confidence, and it carried through everything I did, fishing, golf, all my activities,” he said following Monday’s practice. “I just had a lot of confidence coming into the summer, and that carried into the season."
Compared to previous years?
"I wouldn't say it's different, but it's definitely higher and more sustained. I finally reached a point where I understand how to care less, if that makes sense, which allows me to care more about the things I need to."
2. A slight change to offseason work schedules
"I started skating later, I started skating at 430 in the afternoon, and I instantly noticed my summer was going really well, and it was flowing really good. I had a lot of energy when I was training, and I was able to put a lot into it. Other than that, my training's been the same in years past, I just was able to amp it up a little bit, because I had a bit more energy."
3. Day-to-day upkeep and time management
"I guess we have a really good routine going, we're not skating in the morning or we're optioning out in the morning and skating every day, which allows me to get better in between games. Then I can go save my energy for games on the gameday."
4. The team in front of him
"It's the battle that we have, we have the never give up mentality, and you can see it. For example, Sbisa's jumping on the goalline last night to make a save (against the Anaheim Ducks), and he does make the save. So maybe you get one out of ten of those, but that one time is going to carry a long way."
5. Loving what he does
"I love to have fun out there, and I think practice is how you get better. Not only are you getting better, but you've got to enjoy that or you're going to lose your mind."