On Thursday morning, Maxime Lagace seemed pretty relaxed.
In the moments after the Golden Knights' morning skate at TD Garden, he sat in his locker. Then he stood. Then he sat again.
As he adjusted a team baseball cap over his flowing brown hair and wiped the sweat from his eyes, he seemed like he belonged. Even if the 23-year-old goalie, originally designated as the Chicago Wolves' backup goalie this season, has only played two NHL games in his career, all this week after Oscar Dansk became the third Vegas goalie in as many weeks to head to the IR.
When asked how he's staying so relaxed, as the hockey gods have seemingly gifted him a once-in-a-career opportunity to establish himself as an NHL goalie, Lagace told us.
It's all about handling his cell phone.
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"Phone is always on the moon," Lagace joked. "The Do Not Disturb. Always on."
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Lagace went into detail about how in the days following his surprising NHL recall, he's been inundated with texts.
Family and close friends are a given.
But it's also everyone else that he grew up with in Quebec.
Classmates. Acquaintances. The folks he's see around town in Longueil, Quebec, his hometown in suburban Montreal.
Lagace said he's been floored by the outpouring of support he's received since becoming a Golden Knight, but that it comes with a challenge. Acknowledging the extraordinary luck that finds him alone in the Golden Knights' crease for the foreseeable future, Lagace seems to know how integral this stretch is for his career.
Spending the past three seasons in the AHL and ECHL, Lagace was never seen as much of a prospect. Just a hard-working guy who's scratched and clawed, battled and gotten opportunities for himself.
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And after his first two appearances of his career - a loss in relief of Dansk on Monday and a loss to the Rangers on Tuesday - Lagace understands this opportunity he's received is rare, and potentially fleeting, unless he can help Vegas rebound from its two-game losing streak in Boston this evening.
Where like his team, Lagace's efforts the past two games have showed flashes of brilliance at times, but needed a little more full-game consistency to end up back in the win column.
"It's been very emotional," Lagace said. "A lot of unexpected events took place in the past couple weeks. I had to be ready. I feel confident and ready to play.
"Any opportunity is always the same. You want to take advantage of it. I have a really, really good opportunity here.
"I think it's a little luck in my career. I think I got a little luck here. I want to take advantage of it."