Friday, January 6, 2012

Halak may be on the verge of taking back #1 goaltending job

By Andrew Allsman| Posted: January 6th, 2012| Contact 

Halak has played very well in recent games, but is it enough to take back the #1 role?

Since coming over to the Blues organization Jaroslav Halak has failed to live up to fans expectations.  Halak's inconsistency was a major problem last year and it carried over to this year, and fans were starting to show concern. 

It has been a bit of a roller coaster ride with Halak for most of this season and with Brian Elliott being the real surprise of the season it was only a matter of time before Halak lost his #1 status.

It really was an easy decision for former coach Davis Payne to begin "going with the hot hand" as Halak failed to make a case for himself in any of the games he participated in.

Less than a few weeks after Halak and Elliott started splitting the games, Davis Payne was relieved of his coaching duties and in stepped Ken Hitchcock.

But what would he do about the goaltending situation?

Hitchcock decided to follow the strategy that Davis Payne had, and rewarded the goaltenders for good games and went on a game by game basis to see who would be the next matchup's starter.

Halak made it very clear that he wanted the #1 spot back and things seemed to start clicking for him under the new coach.  Maybe it was the clean slate,  maybe he learned from his mistakes, I don't know, but one thing is for certain, Halak found his game and started proving he was capable of handling the role of the "main" goaltender

Halak has been instrumental in the majority of the wins the Blues have obtained since Thanksgiving, and in that period of time Halak has gone 6-0-3 with a .927 sv% and an average of only 2 goals allowed per game.  These stats are hard to ignore considering the way he started out the season.

David Rogers (owner of recently wrote an article on Halak's recent performance that addressed the recent teams he has faced.

Halak has not had what I would call a hard schedule of late, but that's not to say it has been easy.

The reason I brought up this point is because I believe Halak will need to prove he can beat elite teams before he's given his old job back and with games against teams like the Canucks, Red Wings, and Penguins on the horizon, this could be a key month for Halak.

Hitchcock has been asked if he's earned it back and his response did not give up his intent but shows that he is definitely paying attention to #41.

While it's fine that the Blues don't have a clear-cut #1 goaltender, it is something that will need to be addressed in the future and one would have to think that Halak is ahead of Elliott for the job.

Is Halak ready to take back the starting goaltender job?? Comment below.....