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Goal Line Report

Entries with the tag: jaroslav halak

St. Louis Blues: A Team to Watch

After the St. Louis Blues stumbled out of the gate, many hockey fans and media alike thought that this was going to be another one of those playoff-less season for the hockey club.

Well, a little more than halfway through the 2011-12 NHL campaign, it appears that those fortunes have changed. The Blues are currently fifth in the Western Conference with a 25-12-6 record and 56 points.

One main reason for the club’s turnaround has been the coaching of Ken Hitchcock. Since taking over the Blues for Davis Payne, Hitchcock has gone 21-11-0-5. “Hitch” has the team playing smart, responsible hockey at both ends of the ice and has his team believing that they can accomplish big things this season.

Secondly, the team has been getting outstanding goaltending from both Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak. Elliott has been a tremendous surprise for the Blues this season after signing a two-way contract prior to the season starting. Elliott has rewarded the Blues by going 15-5-1 in 22 games with a goals against average of 1.68, a .937 save percentage and 5 shutouts.

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  Tags: brian+elliott, david+backes, davis+payne, jaroslav+halak, ken+hitchcock, st.+louis+blues

Bring on the Blues

The New York Rangers head into St. Louis tonight take on a streaking St. Louis Blues’ hockey club.

Coming off a 1-0 loss to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, tonight’s tilt will be a test for the Rangers’ offense to see how they respond. After firing 34 shots on goal against the Stars, it is easy to bet that the Rangers will come out firing pucks tonight whether it is on goaltender Brian Elliott or Jaroslav Halak.

According to Rangers’ beat writer Andrew Gross of The Record, team head coach John Tortorella wants his club to be aware of how well the Blues’ play defensive hockey.

“I thought Dallas was very structured, the same thing tonight, St. Louis is going to be a very structured, defensive-oriented team, we just have to stay within ourselves and not make a big mistake where it’s in our net.”

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  Tags: brian+elliott, dallas+stars, jaroslav+halak, new+york+rangers, st.+louis+blues

Debating the Canadiens’ Goaltending Controversy

From the NHL on TSN panel at TSN.ca:

“You really get the sense that the Montreal Canadiens coaching staff and management really wants Carey Price to be ‘the man,’ said Keith Jones.

While Price was stellar in his rookie season, his statistics have taken a hit over the past two years.  Rumours have also swirled about his conduct off the ice in the hockey-mad city of Montreal, leaving the Canadiens with a very delicate situation on their hands.  TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie believes that the team itself is at least partly to blame for the situation.

“If there has been a criticism of how the Canadiens have handled their goaltenders, it is that they simply won’t give the job to Halak and leave Price on the bench for a little while,” said McKenzie.  “Every time that Halak has lost a game this year, he’s never gotten a start again in the following game.” 

While Halak has unquestionably been the better of the two netminders of late, there are several cases for keeping Price.  For one, the 22-year old is two years younger than Halak.  Also, Price’s pedigree is substantially more impressive.  He was a first-round draft pick by Montreal (fifth overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft) and was named the CHL’s goaltender of the year in 2007.  That same year he backstopped Canada to gold at the IIHF World Junior hockey championship.  In addition he was won the Jack Butterfield Trophy as the AHL’s playoff MVP when the Hamilton Bulldogs captured the Calder Cup in 2007.  The following season he was named to the NHL’s all-rookie team and started the All-Star game last season in Montreal.

Click here for more on the Habs’ goaltending situation.

 

 

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  Tags: carey+price, jaroslav+halak, montreal+canadiens

The AHL: A Bargain for Great Hockey

For a person that has seen many, many National Hockey League games, it will probably come as a surprise to some of you that I had never been to an American Hockey League (AHL) game before, especially since I live within 150 minutes of two American Hockey League franchises: the Hartford Wolf Pack (New York Rangers farm team) and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders farm team).

As I mentioned this past weekend, that all changed on Saturday night when I went to the XL Center (formerly the Hartford Civic Center) to take in a Wolf Pack vs. Springfield Falcons (Edmonton Oilers farm team) game. However, as you also all know, I wasn’t able to enjoy the game from a fan’s perspective.

Instead, I got to enjoy it as a credentialed member of the media, covering the game for the Wolf Pack web site and boy was the game ever good. This game had it all: speed, great puck movement, solid goaltending, a fight, and hard hitting. All in all, it was just as good as an NHL game.

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  Tags: corey+perry, dan+girardi, hartford+wolf+pack, hershey+bears, jaroslav+halak, lowell+devils, marc-andre+fleury, mike+green, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, springfield+falcons, washington+capitals

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