Ondrej Pavelec didn’t speak to reporters following last night’s 5-4 loss in St. Louis, a game that was decided after Pavelec — on in relief of Michael Hutchinson — failed to stop Barret Jackman’s innocuous center-ice shot with 63 seconds left.
Today, Pavelec spoke to reporters about the goal, explaining that he “lost the puck in the stands and it went in.”
From there, though, the conversation took a rather curious twist:
Pavelec: Listen, I didn’t play for three weeks, I was sitting on the bench for three weeks, and I just went in and it was 4-1, and I just tried to have fun and enjoy the game. I was happy I was in the game. But obviously, what happened, happened. I’m not the last guy it’ll happen [to], but like I said before, it happened at a bad time.
Reporters: Do you feel like the rest of the game helped your confidence, with how well you played in the second and third?
Pavelec: No. You don’t get confidence in 20 minutes if you didn’t play for three weeks. Obviously you’re not happy you have to go in. You’re losing 4-1, it’s not a situation you want to be in. But, end of the day, you want to play hockey, you want to play the game. I was happy for 20 minutes.
Reporters: You seem a little frustrated.
Pavelec: Now? No… well, everybody would be. I don’t see any players or any goalies that wouldn’t be frustrated if they don’t play. Everybody wants to play. That’s why you play sports, to play the games, not just practice. But it is what it is. We are winning, we are in a battle for the playoffs, so nothing else matters.
Here’s the full audio, if you’d like to have a listen.
And here’s the Jackman goal:
For the record, Pavelec — who hasn’t started game since Feb. 19 — played just under 28 minutes on Tuesday night, stopping 19 of 20 shots for a .950 save percentage (as mentioned in the interview, he did play extremely well before letting in the Jackman goal.)
Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see which goalie Jets head coach Paul Maurice goes with for Thursday’s game in Florida: Hutchinson, who allowed four goals on seven shots in St. Louis, or Pavelec.
One thing’s for certain — Maurice already has his mind made up.
Paul Maurice on his starting goalie for tomorrow: “I have my guy in mind. And it wasn’t a very difficult decision.” hutch #nhljets
— gary lawless (@garylawless) March 11, 2015
“I’ve got my guy picked. I don’t feel it’s a particularly difficult one right now. I’m pretty clear on who is starting.” #NHLJets Maurice
— Ken Wiebe (@WiebeSunSports) March 11, 2015