MONTREAL, QC. — Look who’s back! Jaroslav Halak is back, that’s who! For the first time since he was traded out of Montreal to the St. Louis Blues, he is back to face his former team and of course, Carey Price.
We all know the story with Halak, he lead the team to the Eastern Conference finals in 2009, divided the city like Moses parted the red sea, and was eventually traded to St. Louis for Lars Eller and some guy called Ian Schultz who you will never see play at the NHL level. It’s okay though, we like Lars, and of course, Carey.
In the only matchup between both teams since the trade, Halak and the Blues had beat the Canadiens, last season in St. Louis, a game that the Blues had won by the score of 4-to-1.
Price and the Canadiens on the other hand will be attempting to extend their winning steak to three games, one short of their longest this season, coming off of victories at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets and Tampa Bay Lightning.
With a difficult month ahead of them, Brian Gionta who was back last Saturday from a foot injury causing him to miss eleven games, weighed in on the Habs early 2012 start. “It’s a good start to the year for us, this January we knew was going to be a big swing month for us and that’s the way we wanted to start.”
Indeed, January is huge for the Habs with games against teams like the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, to mention a few.
Here are a few stat bullets for this game:
- St. Louis Blues vs Montreal Canadiens.
- Montreal Bell Centre.
- January 10, 2012.
- 7:30 PM EST.
- Broadcast: RDS(HD), TSN-HABS(HD)
- Rank: 12th in the Eastern Conference (39 points)
- Overall Record: 16-18-7
- Record of 3-7-0 in their last ten games.
- Streak: Won 2
- Current Home Record: 7-7-6.
- Rank: 4th in the Western Conference (53 points)
- Overall Record: 24-12-5
- Record of 6-3-1 in their last ten games.
- Streak: Won 3
- Current Road Record: 7-9-3.
For this matchup, the Habs will have Carey Price in the net, while his opponent will be of course be Jaroslav Halak for the Blues. Here is your goalie matchup:
Here are some additional stats:
|Carey Price:||Jaroslav Halak:|
|Season Totals at Bell Centre:
||Career Totals at Bell Centre (as a Canadien):
|Other Odd Stats:
||Other Odd Stats:
So just what kind of a season has Halak been having? His own words pretty much summarized the situation when he said he had a first six or seven rough games, but since then has looked good. So why only 21 starts this season? Brian Elliott, that’s the reason.
Halak’s counterpart, Brian Elliott is having a career season so far with a record of 15-5-0, a GAA of 1.62, Sv% of 0.940% and 5 shutouts.
Halak has been doing better lately however, giving up only eight goals in his last five games. His road record however is nothing to boast about, as he has only one win this season away from home, with eight losses on the road, three of which came in overtime or shootout.
Emotions will be high however, and the added motivation of playing against his former team should be all he needs to have his mind in the right place for this game.
This brings me to an interesting question that was asked to me earlier today on twitter:
The question comes from the fact that Brian Elliott, who is coming off of a 4 to 0 victory at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche, will be sitting out in the place of Halak for the game against the Habs. The question was very interesting because I’ve argued over both in the past, being that:
- A goaltender should always play in the game following a shutout:
Even if the next game happens to be the following night, I believe a goaltender should always be given the chance to extend their shutout streak in the immediate following game. Shutouts are great confidence boosters and a goaltender should be permitted to “ride the wave” for as long as it may last.
- A goaltender (or any player) should always have the chance to play against his former team, in the first game that they play against each other, in the the previous city the player was playing in:
You played for that team, you lived in that city, and now you have a chance to go back and “stick it to them”? Of course you should be playing against your former team. If you can’t get motivated for this type of game, there’s no hope for you.
“This is once-in-a-lifetime,” coach Ken Hitchcock said. “Ideal situation, you want to support the shutout, but I mean, come on. First time going back. In fairness to Jaroslav, he had a heck of a time there, and I think it would be dismissive of me to not recognize that.”
Finally, Bodog has the Blues listed as favorite to win the game by a slight margin:
- St. Louis Blues: -125
- Montreal Canadiens: -105
If you haven’t met our resident mascot, Puck the Bunny, who also predicts the outcome of hockey games, I invite you to check out his videos as he predicts the outcome of every hockey game. His videos are posted regularly at AllHabs and are also available at the AllHabs YouTube page. [Click Here for AllHabs YouTube Site]
About the Author (Author Profile)Born and raised in the Montreal area, Steve is an Associate Editor and Senior Writer at All Habs. Steve started playing hockey at the age of four, played as a goaltender as high as Junior AAA and was drafted to the QMJHL. When he isn’t writing about the Canadiens or twiddling with HTML code on the website, you can usually find him sharing his sarcasm on Twitter where he enjoys the never-ending hockey arguments. Steve also works as an analyst for Rogers Communications and enjoys the fact that his downtown office is only a five-minute walk from the Bell Centre. On the personal side; Animal Planet, poutine, the colour blue, the word ‘weaponized’ and Pepsi are just a few of Steve’s favourite things.
Sites That Link to this Post
- PHT Morning Skate: It’s Halak vs. Price in Montreal | ProHockeyTalk | January 10, 2012