At the beginning of the 2018-19 season, it was very clear Jean-Francois Berube would be the starting netminder for the Cleveland Monsters while Brad Thiessen and Matiss Kivlenieks shared backup duties.
Things were a little rough for Berube in the beginning. Prolific scorers started to realize he had a weak spot, the five-hole. It’s not quite what you may think though. His five-hole wasn’t loose. It was bouncy. Berube would drop to the ice with such force that he would slightly bounce back up. By the time the middle of November rolled around, Berube had fixed his five-hole issues and became a shot stopping machine.
Unfortunately, a few months later, the defense began to struggle forcing Berube to have to put on a show night after night. With every defensive snafu, Berube’s frustrations boiled until he started throwing water bottles and breaking sticks in anger. After a few broken water bottles, the defense and Berube began to finally click. This allowed the Monsters to start their push for the playoffs.
On March 22nd, 2019, just as the train was rolling full steam ahead, Berube dropped it like it was hot and never got back up. He would spend the rest of the season on injured reserve.
Jean-Francois Berube 2018-19 Regular Season Stats
Games Played : 43
Record : 21-17-5
Goals Allowed Average : 3.01
Save Percentage : 89.6%
Berube hit the market this summer as an unrestricted free agent. With a slew of prospects in the goalie pool, it didn’t seem as though there would be a place for Berube in the Jackets organization come the fall.
On July 1st, Berube signed a two-year, two-way deal with the Philadelphia Flyers. It will be interesting to see what the Flyers organization does with Berube. They now have three netminders in Philly and three in Lehigh Valley. Berube could offer veteran support for guys like Kirill Ustimenko and Felix Sandstrom.