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Blues coach expects more from Halak

Nov 18, 2013, 9:08 PM EDT

halakap AP

St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock is optimistic about Jaroslav Halak‘s ability to bounce back from some poor recent performances, including being pulled within the first 16 minutes of Sunday’s loss to Washington, as NHL.com’s Lou Korac reports.

“He’ll jump back (in) and play well,” Hitchcock said. “We need him, especially on the road. Your goalie has got to be your best player. We’ll need him to have a good game.”

“Brian (Elliott) has played very well. He’s given us a chance to win every night. Now it’s Jaro’s turn.”

Of the NHL goalies with at least 10 wins in 2013-14, none have a lower save percentage than Halak’s flat .900 mark. Even so, he’s pretty comfortably in the Blues’ No. 1 spot with that 10-3-2 record (Elliott is 3-0-1 so far, with six games played).

Halak, 28, has a lot to lose or gain in a contract year, which means not having nights like last night.

“I think everybody needs to look at themselves, and it starts with me,” Halak said. “I need to look at myself and ask myself if I did my best. I know I can play better.”

The Blues face the Sabres in Buffalo on Tuesday, so Halak may get a chance to redeem himself tomorrow (unless Elliott gets the nod).

  1. jhaegs - Nov 18, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    Halak can be amazing one night, and terrible the next. He has bailed the Blues out a few times this year, and I still have faith in him. Luckily, we have Elliot behind him and the very talented Jake Allen waiting for a shot on out Chicago Wolves affiliate. I’d be more worried about filling Leopold’s spot right now…

    • namriverrat69 - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:22 AM

      Everyone has high expectations on replacement players. We can only hope. As in “Help us Ben Scrivens, you’re our only hope”. lol mr. jhaegs.

  2. blackhawks2010 - Nov 18, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    Let’s see if Halak can bounce back, bad play is definitely in his head….flood gates are definitely open.

    • namriverrat69 - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:25 AM

      Ben Scrivens shut out the Rangers for his second shutout of the year. Who knew!! Outstanding!!

      GO KINGS GO!!

  3. jhaegs - Nov 19, 2013 at 5:11 AM

    Lol riverrat. I’ve seen plenty of backup goalies excel (Elliot and Allen). Scrivens may be the new fan favorite if he continues to do well, and doesn’t let in the embarrassing goals that Quick has been prone to.

  4. dcfan4life - Nov 19, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Goalies CANT carry hockey teams. Poor defenses destroy quality goalies, just ask Buffalo. Goalies can win a game yes, but not a season. The best players in hockey are always goal scorers. The most important players are defensemen, and the one position mistakes cant be made is goaltender. All are important, but great offer > great defense > great goaltending. Did the Red Wings win with goaltending? No. Did the Canucks make the finals with goaltending? No.

  5. jhaegs - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Which is why Ian Cole needs to GTFO. He let Ovi walk right into the slot without a challenge, and then failed to cover him on the second goal. His pursuit is pitiful and passing is off the mark. I hear announcers talk about his “heavy shot”, but it doesn’t mean much when it’s 5ft wide of the net. The entire Blues team needs to practice hitting the net, because all if those posts and crossbars don’t mean jack. So many missed opportunities every night.

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