Halak shuts down Red Wings in limited action

Halak shuts down Red Wings in limited action

Credit: UPI

St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock (L) poses with his trophy, the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's best coach, while goaltenders Jaroslav Halak (41) and Brian Elliott, stand with their William Jennings Trophy as the goaltenders on the team allowing the fewest goals during the 2011-12 regular season, before their game against the Detroit Red Wings at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on January 19, 2013. Also Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong stands with his award, for being voted the best General Manager in the NHL. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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by Scott Bierman / HockeyStL

KMOV.com

Posted on January 20, 2013 at 12:02 AM

Updated Thursday, Nov 14 at 12:34 PM

(HockeyStL) -- The decision to start Jaroslav Halak in the season-opener against the Detroit Red Wings wasn’t a shocking development.  It was an expected decision to start the goaltender who played the majority, albeit eight more games than Brian Elliot, last season.  It was still a risky choice.

A quick look at Halak’s career numbers against the Red Wings highlighted a major concern: 2-4-1, 4.16 goals against average, .876 save percentage.  You don’t have to be a statistician to know the numbers, 4.16 and .876, aren’t good against any team in the league.

Saturday was different for Halak.  It was the season-opener.  It was time to erase last season’s failures and success.  It was time to start a new season with the hopes of bringing the Stanley Cup down Market Street this summer.

Saturday was also a relatively low-key night for Halak, who faced only 14 shots in the 6-0 rout of the Red Wings.  Halak was helped out by a strong defensive effort by the Blues and came up with several key saves including stopping the Red Wings from poking the puck past him in the crease.

Hitchcock said Halak will start the next game which comes against the Predators on Monday.  Elliott will make his season debut against the Blackhawks on Tuesday.

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