Of the many quick to exit Scottrade Center on Saturday night following the Blues’ 6-5 shootout loss to Anaheim, perhaps few walked at a brisker pace than one man.
Goaltender Jaroslav Halak wore a determined look as he hustled past the Blues’ locker room and pulled out of the arena. The Blues need Halak right now, and without saying a word as he left, he clearly knew it.
Saturday’s loss, a game in which the Blues led 3-1 in the first period, extended the team’s losing streak to four games. Brian Elliott, who replaced Halak Feb. 1 after he suffered a groin injury, has allowed 16 goals on 82 shots in three games as the starter. He appears to be in need of a breather — a breather that he’ll now get.
Apparently moving well enough Sunday for the Blues’ medical staff, Halak was activated from injured reserve, and the club re-assigned goalie Jake Allen to Peoria. Halak is expected to start tonight when the Blues wrap up their four-game home stand against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
“He is ready,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong wrote in a text message Sunday.
Halak has played in five games this season, producing a 3-0-0 record with a 2.10 goals-against average and an .889 save percentage.
While Halak’s won-loss record is unblemished, he has not been perfect this season. Of his five starts, he’s finished three of them.
In the second game of the season, Halak surrendered three goals on 11 shots and was pulled for Elliott with Nashville leading 3-2. Behind Elliott’s 13 saves, the Blues rallied from a one-goal deficit for a 4-3 shootout win.
On Feb. 1 in Detroit, Halak gave up two goals on 11 shots and left in the first period. The Blues opened a 3-2 lead but ultimately fell 5-3, and Elliott was hit with the loss.
But of Halak’s three wins, two have been shutouts, which is tied for the NHL lead with Phoenix’s Mike Smith. Granted, Halak faced only 14 shots against Detroit and 13 against Nashville in his shutouts. But despite the inflated number of goals given up lately, the Blues are still keeping their shots against down. The team still ranks No. 1 in that department in the league, allowing 22.2 a game.
With the Blues reeling, Halak is back
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Feb 11