What we Learned: Connor Hellebuyck is on a near-historic run of quality
When you win the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender, that’s mostly an acknowledgement that you had the best season of any goalie in the league. Based on the list of past winners, winning this trophy does not immediately confer upon you elite status.
But when you finish second one season, have a down year the next for reasons mostly beyond your control, and then win the thing, it starts to paint a picture of your overall quality. So it is with Connor Hellebuyck, the reigning Vezina winner who on Friday night once again dazzled against elite competition, stopping 37 of 38 against a Maple Leafs team whose scoring capability is lethal.
The game moved him to third in the league in goals saved above expected, per Evolving Hockey, trailing only the highly publicized and fantastic seasons
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