Ondrej Pavelec Has His Last Chance with the Winnipeg Jets
Ondrej Pavelec speculated that he could be hearing his name in the news for a positive reason again. On Sunday, Pavelec said he knew the decision to call him up wasn’t his, but he felt there was an opportunity for it to happen. The Winnipeg Jets have finally called up journeyman goaltender Ondrej Pavelec from the Manitoba Moose, and he has the best opportunity of his career to succeed, and possibly the last.
The Jets have pretty much run out of options in net, and with Ben Chiarot injured and eligible for the Injured Reserve, it couldn’t work out better for the Jets. Unless of course they could receive quality net minding, and they hope with three options, they can find one to rise above the rest.
Hellebuyck had a fairly decent save percentage of 0.913 before being pulled in two consecutive games. His confidence was as high as it’s ever been, and for him to be succesful, that needs to be reunited. Not appearing in a game situation in over five days now is keeping the negative vibes in his mind, so getting him some more action could be vital, but if the team can’t play to their full potential with him in the crease, that may have to wait.
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Michael Hutchinson had his biggest start of his career against the Sharks yesterday, and blew it. After an awful start to the season, the Jets decided to give him one of Hellebuyck’s starts, to try and keep the Jets in the game early. Quickly the Jets saw themselves down 4-0, and another loss on the board. As we saw in New York before Jaro Halak was put on waivers, third string goalie J-F Berube only saw action once in over 30 games. The only thing that’s keeping Hutchinson in Winnipeg is his contract for next season, as without a goalie under contract, the Jets couldn’t protect a goalie in the expansion draft. The Jets could take their chances and put him on waivers, if they chose a Pavelec – Hellebuyck duo is the best option. The Jets would then be required to sign any goaltender they can to a NHL contract for next year, including re-signing Pavelec if they see fit.
Pavelec was the hottest Manitoba Moose when he was called up, and certainly that helped his call-up. Coming off a 4-1 win, Pavelec should be the Jets next option to start, as he’s the only one who isn’t going through a rough stretch. With the Moose this season, Pavelec hasn’t been able to play as much as he wished as the Jets want prospect Eric Comrie handling a big workload to prepare him for the NHL. In 18 games, Pavelec is 8-7 with a 2.78 GAA, and a 0.917 SV%, which the Jets will welcome with open arms..
Ondrej Pavelec was demoted to start the season, and he couldn’t do anything about it. Now that the Jets have given him a chance, he can’t blow it. Without a contract for next season, Pavelec needs to force a team to sign him. With three goaltending spots open next season because of Las Vegas, Pavelec will be among the replacements, but not without strong play in the next week. He knows it, and everyone else knows it, this is Ondrej Pavelec’s time to shine.