Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Laurent Brossoit's last game of the 2021-22 season was one to forget.
He allowed four goals on 17 shots against the Winnipeg Jets and was pulled in favor of Logan Thompson as the VGK lost 7-3. Then, Brossoit's season ended as he got injured, which resulted in him getting off-season hip surgery.
The surgery required a lengthy rehab, and when Brossoit came back healthy, the Golden Knights were satisfied with the tandem of Thompson and Adin Hill. Brossoit was sent down to the Henderson Silver Knights as a result, where he played 23 games.
A rough couple of months for Brossoit, but it has led him to where he is at now, as the Golden Knights anticipated starter for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"It was a good experience down there, and it gave me a chance to work on some things and to sharpen up. It kind of humbles you, and it made me very motivated to work that much harder to try to get back here. I'm grateful that I'm here. All in all, I'm just grateful for the opportunity," said Brossoit.
Down the stretch, more VGK goaltending issues arose, and Brossoit prevailed from the AHL, playing in 11 games and going 7-0-3. He has emerged from both his injuries and from the minors and is the likely starter for the VGK in the playoffs, fittingly against the Jets.
"I will be extremely excited. Obviously, growing up, you not only want to play in this league, but you want to be 'the guy' on a team that's in the playoffs and has a good chance of winning in a contender like this," said Brossoit.
The Jets are not only the team that Brossoit played against before his rollercoaster of injuries and demotions, but they are also his former team. Brossoit played in Winnipeg from 2018 to 2021, backing up one of the best goaltenders in the league, Connor Hellebuyck.
"Yeah, I taught him everything he knows," Brossoit joked. "It'll be fun to go against him. We got along really well, and we had a good, healthy competitive relationship. It'll be fun seeing him on the other end, and it'll be that much sweeter when we win," said Brossoit.
With Hellebuyck stealing the show, even winning a Vezina Trophy in 2019-20, Brossoit was overshadowed by his goalie partner.
He never played in a Stanley Cup Playoff game with the Jets, but did play one in 2017-18 with the Edmonton Oilers. LB came in that game in relief of Cam Talbot with the Oilers already losing 5-0 against the San Jose Sharks and then let in two more goals.
"I was just trying to keep my head above water back then and just trying to stay in the league then. Going through my experience in Winnipeg, gave me my opportunity here, it wasn't exactly how I had written it up. But, you know, the longer the journey, the sweeter the fruit," said Brossoit poetically.
Now, Brossoit's on a Golden Knights team who is looking for one of their four goaltenders to emerge as the team's starter. Down the stretch, it was Brossoit, and in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, where everything is heightened, it looks like it will be him once more.
"When I feel best is when there's a lot on the line, and there's a lot of intensity in the game. I like those high-paced games, so I think it's gonna be really fun for me, and obviously, if I get the nod," said Brossoit.
"If" is still a question for the Golden Knights, as head coach Bruce Cassidy has not officially confirmed a starter for Game 1. But based on his comments and Brossoit's play as of late, we can expect LB to start against his former team as he continues his comeback tour in the NHL.
"He has helped his cause every time he has been in the net, I'll say that. He's not, I won't say, the healthiest, because Quick is healthy too, but has played the most recently and is the closest to being on top of his game. I like where he is at," said Cassidy roughly a week ago.
The Golden Knights and Jets will play Game 1 of their Stanley Cup Playoff Series on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. from T-Mobile Arena.