Halak Makes First Return Trip to Montreal

Monday, 01.9.2012 / 4:49 PM CT / St Louis Blues - Features
By Chris Pinkert  - St. Louis Blues
X
Share with your Friends


Halak Makes First Return Trip to Montreal
MONTREAL – Jaroslav Halak found himself in familiar territory with an unfamiliar feeling on Monday.

For the first time since being traded to St. Louis in June 2010, the 26-year-old goaltender returned to the Bell Centre in Montreal. This time, though, he passed the Canadiens’ locker room for the slightly-less inviting one labeled “Visiting Team.”

“It feels a little weird to be on the other side, but my home is St. Louis right now, and we’re here and we’re going to play a great game,” Halak said after Monday’s practice. “Obviously there are two points on the line, and we’ll see at the end of the night who comes out with a win.”

It’s been nearly two years since the 26-year-old Slovakian goaltender captivated the city of Montreal, every hockey fan in North America and practically everyone associated with the game when he led the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2010. Along the way, his heroics between the pipes helped the Canadiens eliminate the top-seeded Washington Capitals and the fourth-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins from the postseason.

All of this happened despite the fact that Halak wasn’t even the No. 1 goalie on his team to start the season.

“Obviously I had some tough times and some good times over the course of my career when I was here,” Halak said. “More and more, I was getting chances to play and getting more confident and playing better. At the end of that season I was playing a lot of games, and being in the playoffs was huge for me.”

Not long after Halak became the toast of the town, Canadiens General Manager Pierre Gauthier opted to keep Carey Price between the pipes, dealing Halak to St. Louis for forward prospects Lars Eller and Ian Schultz. After a much-publicized outcry from the fans over the loss of their playoff hero, Halak packed his bags for St. Louis, where he became the fastest goalie in franchise history to record three shutouts, eclipsing the legendary Jacques Plante in just nine games.

Halak has played 78 games as a Blue since the trade, recording a 36-28-12 record with a 2.39 goals-against average, a .910 save percentage and eight shutouts.

His next scheduled start, Tuesday in Montreal, will certainly be a memorable one.

“It’s great to be back in Montreal to play a game. I’m glad I get the start tomorrow, and hopefully it’s going to be a great game for both sides,” Halak said.

Blues forward David Perron, who grew up in nearby Sherbrooke, Quebec, said Halak will no doubt face a lot of pressure playing in front of a crowd that once adored him so much.

“(It’s) big time pressure. I think it’s something that I can’t even imagine myself,” Perron said. “The roof came off of that building a lot when he played and won in the playoffs. It’s just going to be another game for most of the guys, but for Jaro, it’s going to be a real special game. We’re going to try our best to get the two points for him.”

Halak is red-hot entering Tuesday’s game, going 6-0-3 with a 1.95 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage over that span. Maintaining his composure Tuesday at Bell Centre won’t be an easy task.

“Obviously it’s one of the best building in the NHL,” Halak said. “It’s going to be a little bit different for me to be on the opposition side, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 78 49 22 7 227 216 105
2 x - NSH 77 47 22 8 220 188 102
3 STL 76 46 23 7 229 190 99
4 CHI 76 46 24 6 217 176 98
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 76 44 27 5 219 204 93
7 CGY 77 42 28 7 229 204 91
8 WPG 76 39 25 12 215 201 90
9 LAK 76 37 25 14 201 192 88
10 DAL 77 37 30 10 239 248 84
11 SJS 76 37 30 9 212 215 83
12 COL 76 35 29 12 206 213 82
13 EDM 76 23 40 13 185 255 59
14 ARI 77 23 46 8 161 256 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
V. Tarasenko 76 36 35 25 71
A. Steen 73 24 38 6 62
J. Schwartz 69 24 32 12 56
D. Backes 75 25 29 6 54
T. Oshie 67 19 33 13 52
P. Stastny 68 14 29 3 43
A. Pietrangelo 76 6 36 -6 42
J. Lehtera 69 11 29 16 40
K. Shattenkirk 51 8 32 15 40
P. Berglund 71 9 13 -7 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 24 14 3 .919 2.20
J. Allen 19 6 4 .906 2.45

 
TICKETS
Single Game Tickets
2015-16 Ticket Plans
Group Tickets
Luxury Suites
Renew Your Season Tickets
NHL Ticket Exchange
View From Your Seat

TEAM
Roster
In the System
Coaches
Front Office
Blues History
All-Time Player Roster
Chicago Wolves
Alaska Aces

SCHEDULE
Regular Season
Practice Schedule
Promotions Schedule
Schedule Downloads

STATS
Player Stats
League Standings

NEWS
News
Features
Blues Overtime Blog

VIDEO
Video Channels
Game Highlights

GameDay

SOCIAL
Find a Player
Facebook
Twitter
Mobile App
E-mail Subscriptions

FANS
Hot Deals for Cool Fans
Photo Galleries
License Plates

COMMUNITY
Blues in the Community
Blues 14 Fund
50/50 Raffle Numbers

SHOP
Online Store
Blues Auctions
True Blues Authentics

stlouisblues.com is the official Web site of the St Louis Blues. St Louis Blues, stlouisblues.com and stlblues.com are trademarks of the St Louis Blues Hockey Club. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 St. Louis Blues Hockey Club and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

PRIVACY POLICY | ADCHOICES | TERMS OF USE | EMPLOYMENT & INTERNSHIPS | GUEST EXPERIENCE SURVEY | CONTACT US