The knee to his head was the night before, but the fire in his belly was still burning bright.
Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck pulled off his gear after practice, Friday, and then pulled no punches over how he felt about Calgary’s Noah Hanifin running into him in Thursday’s 4-1 Flames win.
“My question is why is there no penalty on that?” Hellebuyck began. “It’s not like I dove in front of him. He wasn’t pushed in. He just made a dumb route. You see that more coming around this game. People aren’t really afraid around the goalies anymore.”
The force of Hanifin’s knee on Hellebuyck’s head knocked the goalie’s mask off and left Hellebucyk prone, counting stars for several seconds late in the second period.
Or maybe he was counting the number of times he’s been run into this season.
“Something needs to change there,” Hellebuyck continued. “Because I get called for a penalty in L.A., right? So now I have more penalties called against me than I drew. And I think that’s ridiculous.
“You can see in the young guys, like (Matthew) Tkachuk – tries to push me into the net. It’s ridiculous. Something needs to be called or something needs to be changed with the goalies. We’re players too.”
An emerging member of the goaltending fraternity, Hellebuyck has clearly had enough.