J-F Berube turned in a strong performance Sunday evening in a game the Isles had to have.
Berube turned aside 26 Colorado shots in the team's 5-1 victory at Barclays Center. He allowed just one goal, a first period breakaway that Joe Colborne cashed in.
"I was sharp, I didn't give too many sloppy rebounds," Berube told reporters after the game about his performance. "Guys were talking a lot on the ice and that helps a lot to find the puck."
Berube, who is now 2-2-2 with a 2.87 goals against average and .906 save percentage, knew he needed to bounce back after allowing five goals on 25 shots against the Carolina Hurricanes in his last start.
"It's like anything. When you don't have a good game, you want to get right back in and prove yourself, and [the Carolina game] hung around for a little bit," Berube said. "I had to try and block it out, and it gave me some things to work on in practice. I think I tried to do a little too much last game, so I went back to basics tonight."
I loved what Berube did on Sunday, and like he eluded to, both he and the team needed it in the worst possible way. A stop that stood out to me was in the first period on a wraparound that looked like he was beat for sure. But Berube slipped over and got the right pad to the post, and it kept Colorado at bay. Then once the Isles went to work offensively, Berube was steady and kept New York exactly where they needed to be.
I'm sure it's not lost on Berube that Jaro Halak is playing lights out in Bridgeport, and if he wants to keep the backup job down the stretch, he's going to need to be every bit the goaltender the organization believes him to be. In fairness to J-F, I'm not sure the team could ask much more from him - both in performance and a positive attitude - after the way the three goalie situation dragged on for the bulk of the first half.
Berube has handled himself very well, even with the limited workload, but he'll need to be just as good whenever he's called upon down the stretch. To bounce back from the Carolina game and play the way he did Sunday was a really good start. Let's hope he'll be ready to do the same for a big back-to-back next weekend against New Jersey.