Penguins' Tristan Jarry benefits from serenity
It's become impossible for Tristan Jarry to match teammate Matt Murray's remarkable anomaly of winning two Stanley Cups as a rookie starting goalie. But it's an increasingly distinct possibility Jarry can follow in Murray's steps as the NHL's all-rookie team goalie.
Monday's 35-save effort in a 4-3 overtime win against the Calgary Flames moved him atop the league's rookie leaders for wins (12) and maintained his status at the top of the list for rookies in goals-against average (2.69) and save percentage (.913). Jarry also is tied for second in shutouts by a rookie with two.
Judging by his teammates' impressions of Jarry, though, news of the statistical superlatives probably aren't getting too much of a rise out of him.
“I don't even know if there's a time I could tell you that he was all that excited,” wing Bryan Rust said.
“He's just calm,” Rust said moments earlier. “He never gets too high, never gets too low.”
From the perspective of Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, that's a good thing.
“Goalies that tend to have a calm demeanor have a calming effect on the team in front of them,” Sullivan said. “That's been my experience.”
The 22-year-old Jarry's personality, in that respect, is similar to Murray's, the goalie two years his senior whom he backs up. Jarry could be in line to start a third consecutive game 8 p.m. Wednesday in Philadelphia. Murray, the NHL's all-rookie goalie last season, has missed a week and a half because of a concussion.
Jarry has stopped 60 of the past 64 shots he faced over the past two games, overtime victories he started at home Saturday and Monday. But what arguably is most impressive about the combined 125-plus minutes of action over that span is what immediately preceded it.
Jarry allowed nine goals on 49 shots in his two prior outings. After that, he was passed over by Sullivan in favor of Casey DeSmith for two starts after Murray was injured, and the first shot he faced Saturday was an embarrassing goal against in which Jarry slipped and flailed and fell into the net.
But Jarry stopped 25 of the next 26 shots he faced Saturday as the Penguins came back to win. Two days later, Jarry followed with another solid performance.
“You see that in all good goalies,” Rust said of the ability to put adversity behind them. “It's what makes (Jarry) good.”
The Penguins' top draft pick in 2013 — he went in the second, round, No. 44 overall — Jarry said he's “always been a pretty laid-back person” and first-year Penguins goalie development coach Mike Buckley has helped Jarry manifest that on the ice even more this season.
“Mike's helped me a lot with just being able to forget things quickly and move on,” Jarry said.
“I think it's one of those things you have to keep within yourself and push yourself at all times, and that's one of the things that makes you better and better, having that competitive drive — and that calmness added to it really helps me.”
Sullivan continually works to ensure that Jarry doesn't provide too much of a good thing.
“I have the discussion with Tristan all the time: There's a fine line between poise and nonchalance,” Sullivan said. “Part of Tristan's personality is we want him to be poised — but certainly do not want him to be nonchalant.
“We have those discussions weekly with Tristan. It's an aspect of his game that we try to help him grow ... just bringing that certain level of intensity to his approach every day, which will help him become the goalie we think he's capable of becoming.”