SM-liiga Game Day: 12-2-11

The legend continues to grow...

SM-liiga (Finland):
JYP 6 @ Tappara 0
Riku Helenius, JYP, Win, 15/15, SO, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals: 13 GP, 8-5-0, 6 SO, 1.31 GAA, .940 sv%

Today was the 3rd or 4th time this season I've gone to look at the results from Finland and said to myself, "No bleeping way!" Riku Helenius (pictured) continues to bend the rules of time and space, as he shut out Tappara today on 15 saves in JYP's 6-0 win. Ex-Lightning forward Eric Perrin had 1 goal and 3 points in the win. JYP plays SaiPa on Saturday.

I get that JYP is a very good defensive team. I get that Riku is benefiting greatly from playing behind a very good defensive team. But, with 6 shutouts in 13 starts, and considering his tandem-mate Joni Myllykoski doesn't have any shutouts in 15 appearances, it's become something you can't dismiss anymore. At this stage, it's reminiscent of how people used to dismiss Martin Brodeur because he played behind a very strong defensive team in New Jersey. And, yet, it's not like you could have plugged any goaltender in there for New Jersey and won championships, and the guy now holds or is close to holding just about every goaltending record in the book.

No, I'm not saying Riku Helenius, who at this time last year was getting routinely clobbered as a backup for Sodertalje in the Elitserien after being excommunicated from North America by the Lightning, is another Martin Brodeur. But, then again, doesn't it seem like he might be justifying the belief that the Lightning had when they drafted him 15th overall in 2006 that there might be something special about him?

And, aren't you a little curious what he could do if the Lightning got him back to North America, too?