Halak Continues To Step Up His Game. Two Great Goalies Is A Beautiful Thing

What a story the goaltending situation in Montreal has become. A week or two ago, Jaroslav Halak was ready to be dealt by Bob Gainey for a top six forward. And many questioned whether a team would even give up that much for the goalie relegated to backup to Carey Price, who had cemented the number one spot with his stellar play for much of this season.

Halak became expendable, for all intents and purposes.

Until a week ago, that is. First a shutout against the Islanders. Then he stopped fifty shots in Atlanta. And now allowing only one goal in a comfortable 5-1 win against the Hurricanes.

At this point, why would Bob Gainey send Halak anywhere?

And now, remarkably, Carey Price sits on the bench while his co-worker gets the job done in a big way.

And about the game? How can one team, the Carolina Hurricanes, outshoot the other 47 to 25, and be out of it most of the time without hardly a sniff of winning? Doesn’t seem right. Doesn’t make a lot of sense.

For one thing, Halak was as solid as the rock of Gibraltar. Secondly, the Hurricanes’ chances were only here and there with no sustained pressure. And thirdly, Montreal gives up 47 shots every night.

And about the Canadiens point-getters? The Kostitsyn boys each got a goal, which truly makes for a merry Christmas in the Kostitsyn family. Sergie particularly should be smiling a little more right now and maybe even belting out  a hearty “Partridge in a Pear Tree” to his unsuspecting family. Andre Markov once again bolted in from the blueline and converted a pass for a power-play goal, looking like Bobby Orr. And Glen Metropolit is possibly still feeling bad for a few silly penalties recently and has responded in fine fashion with two markers tonight.

All in all, a convincing win heading into the brief Christmas break, and the Habs as a whole should enjoy their holiday after such great showings in their last three games. Have some wine. Eat some turkey. And most importantly, be nice to your mother-in-law.

Random Notes:

Montreal in Toronto on Boxing Day. This sort of ticket, Habs in Toronto around Christmas, has historically been one of the hottest tickets to be had, going back many decades. Some people are lucky to find one of these cherished ducats in their stockings Christmas morning. Sure beats socks and ties.

14 thoughts on “Halak Continues To Step Up His Game. Two Great Goalies Is A Beautiful Thing”

  1. Hey Dennis;Didnt se the game ,I went to see Canada play against the Czech team,great game as isalwys the way when the young guys play.I was impressed to say the least,great tickets,great crowd(Regina eh probably the same folks who support the Stampeders)great atmosphere and just awesome to be there,wilkl try again on the twent ninth.

  2. You’re lucky, Derry. Those juniors blow my mind. I saw them play the Czechs in Calgary around 1996 and it was fantastic.Like I say, you’re lucky. Good for you.

  3. Awesome game, but we had to win it, we couldn’t lose the team that sits in last place.

    Gainey’s either thinking “Halak is too good to give away”
    “His value just increased.”

    Let’s hope whatever Bob decides to do brings us north in the standings.

  4. Yeah Phil, I’m not sure what I’d do. Would I trade Halak for a star forward, or keep him? I really don’t know this answer.

  5. I said I wouldn’t respond until they make the playoffs. But they seemed to have turned things around. I think someone needs to do a study about when best to make a trade.We lost big when souray, streit and komisarek left without getting anything in return. Personally I wouldn’t trade Halak because he is an asset (he’ll push Price plus he can deliver if he plays). I would play them 50-50. But if Gainey trades him now, he could get an asset in return so all wouldn’t be lost the way we lost for the other players. I wouldn’t be disappointed if Lapierre started producing and we traded him. Its a ll a gamble. I do think we may be in for a surprise with what Pouiliot brings to the table. A little early but I do like the energy he brings. He certainly doesn’t plod along like Guilllame. Anyways, Merry Xmas to all of you. What a nice Xmas present the habs delivered. Stay healthy Andre!

  6. Mayo, I knew you’d be back. You’re too great a Habs fan to leave it be. I agree with you about Pouiliot. He seems like a good, strong skater. I’d never seen him play before last night. I’ve got a good feeling about him. I wouldn’t trade Halak either. He’s been steady as a rock, and in my book, having two good goalies is better than having one. I remember how disappointed I was at what the Canadiens got for Patrick Roy. I was expecting a big star when Roy was traded. So they sent him and Mike Keane to Colorado for Jocelyn Thibault, Martin Rucinski, and Andre Kovalenko. I couldn’t believe it. I thought, what was Rejean Houle thinking? I don’t want to see that kind of one-sided trade again.

  7. Unless Gainey is trading Halak to replace UFA Plekanec, I don’t think we can afford another top six forward.

  8. this might sound crazy, but we can probably trade Andrei Kostitsyn and Halak for a first liner.

    Both of their values have increased by miles recently

  9. I agree Phil that even tho AK and Halak are playing great it may best to trade them at these levels when we can leverage more in return. We need to learn from past lessons. Too bad we’re so close to the cap. I need to do more research in this area. AK did get a raise last year to $3M i think. Halak is due and Pleks will command a great deal more (he could be great trade bait unfortunately) than the 1 year deal he just got.

  10. Is it known what Plekanec was asking in the summer for in a multi year deal? He’ll get it and more easily now. Or did he only want the one-year deal to test the market as an UFA?

  11. I did my research, and right now we have 2,493,310$ in cap space
    Kostitsyn (3,250,000$)
    Halak (775,000$)

    If we trade both of them we’d have 6,518,310$ in cap space.

    Which would be enough to get a great player.

  12. Phil, are you looking at http://www.hockeybuzz.com/cap-central/team.php?team=MON ? Sorry, but I think you’re reading it incorrectly, it’s saying we’re $2,493,310 over the cap. We’d also have to add Sanford’s $600K salary.

    The good news is that we’d only have to cover the salary for the second half of the year. Overall I agree, we could get a first-line improvement for this year.

    My worry is what about next year? At best, we’d only be able to resign one of the new forward or Plekanec and no Andre.

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