ANALYSIS: Another stellar performance pushes Jets’ Hellebuyck closer to Vezina trophy

Connor Hellebuyck may have unquestionably won his second Vezina trophy Tuesday night in Music City. And if he didn’t, his performance pushed him so far ahead of his closest competition that if he doesn’t earn the award at season’s end, an investigation should commence immediately afterward.

In starting his 58th game of the season, Hellebuyck backstopped the Jets to their fourth straight win, a franchise-record 23rd road victory, and the team’s 48th overall of the season.

Story continues below advertisement

While Winnipeg scored four goals — players like Mark Scheifele had a multiple point night and Kyle Connor notched the game-winner with his team-leading 32nd of the season — Hellebuyck in every aspect stole the victory and single-handedly willed the Jets past the Predators.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

His coach, Rick Bowness, said post-game: “There was no win without him.” And it’s been like that a lot of nights this season.

In turning aside 45 of 48 shots, the 30-year-old now owns the best save percentage and second-best goals-against average among netminders with over 30 games played. He’s second in wins and keeps delivering quality outings night-and-after-night and game-after-game.

Story continues below advertisement

In fact, his numbers would likely be even more gaudy were it not for a Jets penalty kill that has struggled all season —  and that is in no way a reflection of Hellebuyck’s play.

As the regular season winds down, it’s become clear that Hellebuyck is not only a lock to be nominated for a fourth time for the Vezina — and arguably the favourite to win it for the second time in his career — but he’s also been the Jets’ best player: consistent, reliable and fantastic.

Last night in Music City, Connor Hellebuyck hit all the right notes in stealing another game for the Jets and when you collectively assess his entire season, he’s likely also struck a major chord at securing the Vezina trophy once again.

Click to play video: 'John Shannon on the Jets: April 3'

John Shannon on the Jets: April 3

&© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.