July 14, 2024

Penguins’ Burke: Hextall’s support for Jarry after playoff exit was ‘critical.’
With Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry coming off his second All-Star Game appearance and the team off to a strong start, general manager Ron Hextall appears to have made the right decision in sticking with him.

After helping the Penguins finish first in the realigned East Division during the shortened 2020-21 season, Jarry struggled in the playoffs, posting an.888 save percentage in six games against the New York Islanders en route to the Penguins’ early first-round elimination.

Brian Burke, the Penguins’ president of hockey operations, called Hextall’s support for Jarry after his significant struggles “critical.”

“People are saying, ‘Oh, you need to get a goalie.’ Burke told Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Ron Hextall told him after the playoffs that the team didn’t need a goalie. ” And he told Tristan that they weren’t looking for a goalie. ‘We believe in you.

“When your general manager tells you that, it means a lot. But when your (general manager) was an excellent NHL goaltender, it means even more…. It was huge.”

Hextall stated a few months after the Penguins’ early exit that he was confident Jarry would return in 2021-22, and the 26-year-old has so far lived up to his expectations. Jarry registered a sparkling. Approaching the All-Star break, he had a 923 save percentage and a 2.21 goals-against average.

Burke also noted that Jarry’s playoff struggles were not surprising given that 2020-21 was his first year as the full-time starter in Pittsburgh following Matt Murray’s departure.

“You look at (ex-Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury), I believe he had a couple of tough playoffs. Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s goalie. “(Montreal Canadiens goaltender) Carey Price,” he stated. “So for a player to scuffle a little bit early on is not uncommon.”

Despite dealing with numerous injuries, the Penguins are currently third in the deep Metropolitan Division with a 27-11-8 record.

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