Goalie Jaroslav Halak has weathered the ups and downs of a season spent mostly in the AHL. Now he’s seizing his chance again with the Canadiens.
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There was anxiety, with gusts of panic, among Canadiens fans when GM Bob Gainey shipped veteran goalie Cristobal Huet to the Washington Capitals on Feb. 26, trade-deadline day in the NHL.
But Gainey’s decision to elevate Jaroslav Halak from the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs to form a tandem with rookie sensation Carey Price is thus far bordering on genius, the two having combined to run up a 7-3 record in the 10 games played by Montreal since the trade; they have a glittering .940 save percentage and 2.00 goals-against average. Halak has been a model of patience and good attitude this season, most of it spent in the AHL. On Saturday, his 3-0 shutout of the New York Islanders made him a perfect lifetime 8-0 at the Bell Centre.
Dave Stubbs reports on the 22-year-old Slovakian, who could be an important cog in the Canadiens gears heading down the stretch run toward the playoffs.