St. Louis Blues Stopping Pucks: Jaroslav Halak Is Building His Wall of Greatness
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Well Blues fans, don't forget to pinch yourselves and make sure that this 2010-11 season is the real deal! The men in Blue are racking up the points this year (7-1-2, 16 pts). That is second place in the Central division behind their long-time rivals the Detroit Red Wings.
The Blues are trying to make it six wins in a row. The last time they did that was in December 2003. St. Louis is off to the second-best 10-game start in franchise history with 16 points. That is one point behind the 2002-03 team that posted 17 points in 10 games.
The St. Louis Blues are a perfect 6-0-0 at home this season (they are the first team this year to win five games in a row). They have posted a franchise-record 12 straight home-game victories. Needless to say coach Davis Payne has his team capitalizing at home unlike early last year with dear old Andy Murray.
After beating up San Jose 2-0 at home Thursday night the Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak (7-1-1) gained his third shutout of the season. Halak broke a franchise record by recording the fastest three shutouts in a season in team history.
“He’s making saves that he has no business making,” said forward David Backes. “He made a couple glove saves today where he’s looking through traffic and snags it out of the air. You need that sort of confidence in your goaltender and he’s obviously a gamer that gets the job done for us.”
The Blues road record (1-1-2) is going to need some steady improvement. They start a three-game road trip in Boston. The Blues have won eight of the last 10 against the Bruins.
Halak is 5-3-0 with 1.99 goals against average and two shutouts in his career versus Boston.
The Blues have a few injuries on defense that may have some effect on their road trip:
Carlo Colaiacovo is out with a concussion.
Roman Polak is sidelined with his wrist laceration.
Barret Jackman has a sprained knee and will be out.
Davis Payne will replace them with Nathan Oystrick, Tyson Strachan and Nikita Nikitin.
I believe the Blues will be fine because they have a fantastic goalie. Halak has been solid and will continue down the stretch to be the deciding factor in each game.
In Halak's last four games, the goaltender has turned aside 105 of 108 shots, earning a .972 save percentage in those games.
He has held opponents scoreless in 11 of his last 12 periods played.
If the Blues thought they were getting a great goaltender they were more than right! He has easily established himself as the starter. He has started every game except for one.
Some say goalies are like backstops...in St. Louis there is a "wall of Halak," which to me is the wall of greatness.
Gretzky Quote: "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take."
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