Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Habs Should Stick With Halak Until The Olympics


For the first time this season, Jaroslav Halak got a back-to-back start after sustaining a loss.

He did not disappoint, continuing the Montreal Canadiens “goaltending controversy” between him and Carey Price for yet another few days.

Halak may not be graceful, but he did what was needed with a 45 save performance against the powerhouse Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.

That should keep the “he plays sub-500 teams” critics quiet for a day or two.

The win puts Halak’s record, after coming off a loss, to 5-2-1this season. By comparison, Price is 6-9-3 in his next start after a losing decision.

Until Tuesday, Canadiens coach Jacques Martin never started Halak after a loss, but why? In only three situations, the team had played back-to-back nights, and on two occasions Halak had been lit up pretty bad.

Martin may have finally realized that after each of Halak’s ten losses (eight in regulation), Price went 4-5-1, including a humiliating 7-1 loss back in October to the same Canucks team.

So Halak has proven he can bounce back immediately after a loss, so what now?

With the 2010 Winter Olympics approaching, and six games to play for the Canadiens, Martin should use Halak as much as possible.

If he gets thumped by the Bruins on Thursday (note: Price is 2-0 vs. Boston), put him back in against Pittsburgh. Give him that chance again to prove himself.

Price’s record against the remaining pre Olympic opponents is 4-3-1, so why not give it a shot?

Keep in mind too that Halak will be seeing lots of ice time in Vancouver as the number one goalie for Slovakia, so when the NHL starts up again on March 2, he’ll have seen a lot of rubber.

Price in the meantime, will have time to practice, rest, reflect/prepare for the remainder of the NHL season to prove himself again.

That is of course, if Bob Gainey doesn’t make a deal before the Olympics or the March 3 trade deadline.

Mike Komisarek: Or as a friend tweeted, Karmaserek…Out for the season with a shoulder injury.

Lorelei O’Byrne 1953-2010: Condolences to the family of Canadiens defenceman Ryan O’Byrne, whose mother Lorelei passed away January 28 after a long battle with breast cancer. A celebration of life will be held on February 16 in Victoria, BC.

The Canadiens had given O’Byrne time off, for the first three weeks of January, to be with his mother and family. Many feel he played his best game of the season on Tuesday, against his home-province team.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely, les Habitants rule.Google