St. Louis netminder Jaroslav Halak back on his game

Posted: November 18, 2011 in Uncategorized
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I never doubted. After a just-awful start to the season, St. Louis goalie – and former Habs hero – Jaroslav Halak is back at the top of his game. Halak is 2-1-1 in his last four games including Thursday night’s key 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. His goals-against-average in those four games is an amazing 1.23 and his save percentage is .950.

The result is there’s now a goaltending debate in St. Louis. Does new coach Ken Hitchcock stick with the newly-hot Halak or switch back-and-forth between Halak and back-up goalie Brian Elliott who has a .947 save percentage on the season and has done stellar work between the pipes when called in while Halak was struggling.

Halak’s record is 3-6-1 with a GAA of 2.60 and a save percentage of .889. Elliott is 7-1 with an eye-catching GAA of 1.43 and a save percentage of .947. Clearly Elliott’s stats are way better but what you have to look at is this week rather than the whole season. Halak is the hot guy right now and, much more than Elliott, Halak is the guy who’s proven he can stop pucks as well as any goalie in the National Hockey League. If you doubt that, you must’ve slept through the 2010 playoffs when he pulled a middling Habs team almost single-handedly to the Eastern Conference final. You remember the Pittsburgh and Washington series? Les Boys would’ve never ever won those without Halak quite simply standing on his head. (And yes Habs management rewarded Halak for heroics by promptly dumping him, sending him that summer to the Blues in return for Lars Eller, who has a pitiful one goal and five points so far this season.)

So I’m saying Hitchcock is going to be sticking with Halak and I’m also saying that’s the right decision. Let’s check back on this at Christmas.

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