Edmonton Journal article (Brossoit minds his own net)May 16 2012 at 5:49 PM
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|N. W. Bruin (Login NW_Bruin_GM)|
Brossoit minds his own net
Final MVP worries about the puck, not other goalies
By Jim Matheson, Edmonton Journal
May 16, 2012
Edmonton Oil Kings goalie Laurent Brossoit says he doesn't scout the other team's netminder, so if you ask him who the other "gardien de buts" are in the Memorial Cup in Shawinigan, Que., he draws a blank.
Which, come to think of it, is what most goalies aim to do - blank the opponent.
"I hope I'm not letting in too many buts (goals)," Brossoit said with a laugh.
As a kid who has a reasonable facility in French, Brossoit would much rather hear "bon jeu" (great game) than the alternative, but he's going into the Memorial Cup blind, like the rest of his teammates.
The winners of the three major junior leagues in Canada - Saint John Sea Dogs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League, and the Oil Kings in the Western Hockey League - plus the host Shawinigan Cataractes - haven't had much time to prepare for the round-robin championship and know very little about the other teams.
For example, the only way Brossoit would be able to pick out London's Michael Houser, Saint John's Mathieu Corbeil, and Shawinigan's Gabriel Girard or Alexander Dubeau would be if they were wearing their team jerseys with the name bar on the back.
"I don't play against the other team's goalie, I play against the puck," said Brossoit. "It has no bearing who's in the other end."
Brossoit, or L.B., as the Oil Kings fans chanted nightly, was somewhere between very good and sensational in the WHL playoffs as he was selected the post-season MVP. He made a half-dozen are you kidding-me saves, throwing out his leg across the crease. There were saves every bit as good as you'd see in the NHL. His play has put him firmly on Hockey Canada's radar for the world junior championship next Christmas in Russia.
He also brought a huge smile to the Calgary Flames' scouting staff, who took Brossoit in the sixth round of last year's NHL entry draft when he was a WHL newbie and wasn't anywhere near as calm and collected in the net.
Brossoit stared down Sven Baertschi and Ty Rattie, two major talents in the WHL final against the Portland Winterhawks. Now he'll see Saint John's Jonathan Huberdeau, the third pick in the 2011 NHL draft, and high-end drafts Stanislav Galiev, Zack Phillips, Thomas Jurco and Charlie Coyle.
London has Austin Watson, the OHL playoff MVP who also played on the 2009 Windsor Spitfires team that won it all with the Edmonton Oilers' Taylor Hall, Seth Griffith (10 goals in 19 games) and Tie Domi's son, Max.
"What do I know about the opposition? Not much. Only that they're pretty darned good," said Brossoit. "Saint John has a lot of offensive power like Portland, lots of guys who've gone high in the draft. They're pretty intimidating, but so are we.
"I'd rather not know too much about the opposition guys. I'd go into games against the Baertschis and the Ratties and try not to overthink things. I watch the puck and worry about my game. In the Memorial Cup, I don't know the guys and how they shoot. That's fine, I don't want to guess."
The other goalies won't have it easy, either.
The American-born Houser, who was snubbed for Team USA in the world junior, was the OHL's MVP this season. He's been passed over in two straight NHL drafts, but he led the league in wins.
Corbeil, 20, a fourth-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2010, is much more sound than Jacob De Serres, who nobody wanted in the WHL but was in Saint John last year when the Sea Dogs won the Memorial Cup. If Corbeil, who played in the 5-4 OT loss to the Kootenay Ice in last year's Cup, doesn't sign by June 1, he goes back into the draft.
Shawinigan has a nice tagteam in Girard and Dubeau, who have basically split playing time this season.
Brossoit had to play only 20 playoff games through four rounds, but he had three games in four nights to finish off the Winterhawks.
"It's more mentally than physically draining," said Brossoit, who was terrific in Game 6 in Portland until giving up the winner to Oliver Gabriel with 2-1/2 minutes remaining.
"You have to have short-term memory ... a goal I'd like to have had, but then I said, 'Maybe I'd like to win this at home,' " said Brossoit, who bounced back in Game 7 at Rexall Place with a very tidy 4-1 victory.
© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal
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