Vacation? Not so fast there, fella!

P.K. Subban is going to the All-Star Game’s rookie skills competition.

And Ryan White has been sent back to Hamilton.

•  •  •

Jaro hits a rough patch in St. Louis.

Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz writes:

I don’t know what to say about
Jaroslav Halak. He can be absolutely brilliant.
His play can be inspiring. When Halak is in one of these zones, we
remember why the Blues were so excited — and why we were so
thrilled — to acquire him in the trade with Montreal. But the guy
does not get it done on too many nights. He’s allowed too many soft
goals. He has not played well on the road. And this is one of the
main reasons to explain why the Blues can’t hold leads; great
goaltending provides security to protect those leads.



  1. eharvey says:

    I’m not reading anything, I’m watching how players around the league perceive this guy and he did it to himself, not the media and certainly not me.  I can appreciate your sticking up for the kid, he is a keeper, but your are in lala land if you think this kid does not have faults and is actually ready to play 20 mins a night.  No way, he sits more if we have Gorges and Markov healthy, period.

  2. eharvey says:

    Ooooops…sorry about that.  I’m just sensitive to folks who think this guy should be playing 30 mins a night and is the next comiong of christ.  Their is much much more to playing the pro level than skill.  Skill is just a requirement.

  3. Mattyleg says:

    Heh heh.

    Sorry, 67 games.

    I wasn’t talking about that season, I was talking about his next one. Thought he was 22. Missed the lockout.

    Like you missed my point.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  4. SuperYogurt says:

    Wow, did you even bother to look up the stats or did you just make them up?

    Check the website, specifically under “2003-2004.”

    Plekanec never even played 69 games in any of his seasons…

  5. SeriousFan09 says:

    Right now, the Habs prospects are all the balls in the air I can manage, plus I’m working on some other blogging stuff ATM. 


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  6. JohnBellyful says:

    I think you’re doing a great job keeping Hab fans well-informed on the team’s prospects, SF, and enough of them are showing they could have a bright future with the club. But I wonder, if other teams were to have fans as dedicated as you are in putting together these summaries, might they not be as legitimately optimistic about their rising stars as we are.

    What I’m saying, Ser’ — you don’t mind me calling you Ser’, do you? — is that posters here are operating in bit of a vacuumm not knowing how well the other teams’ future players stack up to ours. So, if it’s not too much trouble, could you give us weekly summaries on the players in the system for the other 29 teams?

    Make it 28. I don’t really care about the Leafs.

    (If you need any help, let me know. I have phone numbers.)

  7. Chuck says:

    Maybe the solution is for St. Louis to play the backup goalie during the 3rd period.  :)

  8. keepthefaith says:

    Eller is a rookie. You just expect him to be great right away because we traded Halak for him . Who is now blowing himself.

  9. SnowManHabs85 says:

    Simple, opposing team couldn’t go high on Halak, we were agressive defensively on Ovechkin, Backstrom, and who couldn’t score because we put pressure on them? Semin. We watched Crosby, Malkin, Staal like cat lick their fur all game long. Face it, Philly had 6 players we just couldn’t handle to watch out for. Our 4th line was barely playing, even same with our 3rd line. They went high on Halak and his stats went down drastically. Don’t forget he was pulled how many times in that so called “single-handedly” sent the Habs to the conference final.

  10. Habfan4lfe says:

    Price was always the better goalie. Anyone that knows anything about hockey knows that. A BS streak doesn’t count for much later down the road.

  11. WestHab says:

    St. Louis plays Calgary tonight I wonder if Jaro will be in, I was hoping to see him on the tube. I think he can get his form back.

    - Who will be at the Heritage Classic?

  12. WestHab says:

    If Eller blows I don’t know what to call what #46 does, he’s the problem not Eller.

    - Who will be at the Heritage Classic?

  13. Mr.Hazard says:

    That’s too bad about Halak… Weird, almost. He usually performs at such a high level, he has at every level, including NHL playoffs!

    I guess Hickey’s gonna lose his bet! At this point, I hope he does!

  14. SeriousFan09 says:

    Coming over at his age is a pretty positive sign, he was also here for the draft so he could have 1-on-1 with the organization about his future, I think he’s very invested in being an NHLer.

    You have to like the 2009 Draft class results so far, Leblanc’s having a pretty good year, Dumont and Avtsin are already in the AHL, Bennett’s in/out of the lineup at Michican but still has 5 points in 15 games and Nattinen may come over next year as well.


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  15. JohnBellyful says:

    Much appreciated. As I say, it’s great you take the time to compile all the stats and highlight certain players every week. It will be interesting to reread your reports in a few years and just see how well some players lived up to their promise, others fell by the wayside and some performed better than expected based on their minor league records.

  16. Matt_in_TO says:

    Good thing for PK the All-Star game is in Carolina and not Philadelphia.


    - In Price We Trust

  17. andrewberkshire says:

    Halak’s problem has always been endurance. Before this year he’d never been a starting goalie for a full season. At the beginning of the year he shot out of the gates playing spectacularly, and then after an amazing october, he fell flat on his face. He continually gets tired late in games, even though the Blues don’t allow very many shots. If you look at his performace, I believe his save % in the first two period is somewhere in the .930 range, and in the third period it’s about .790.

  18. Propwash says:

    Listening to last night’s game on CJAD, I heard that PK nailed somebody in the 1st period. Does anyone remember who he hit?


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  19. SeriousFan09 says:

    I’m just never sure when certain requests about prospects are serious, quite alright. Always find it’s useful to give an answer anyawy.


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  20. Stuck_in_To. says:

    Since you asked for it, I’ll disagree. Eller shows a lot of promise to be a very, very good third line player. The type of player no cup contender can win without. He may even be better, but given how Martin chooses to play him, that is an impossible call to make. If he played every night, regardless, on one of the top two lines he might be a far better scorcer. But he is clearly a blue chip NHL player. It remains to be seen what can be done with him. Kudos to P.K., and sympathy for Halak. He carried Mtl. at times and surely can do that for the Blues … maybe they need a better compliment in their goaltender duo.

  21. DearyLeary says:

    No, what you want to see is more points.  He’s a 21 year old first year player who’s getting accustomed to NHL level hockey.  

    Pacioretty looked like a fish out of water, whereas Eller has not.  He competes and doesn’t let his mistakes take him out of a play.  He forchecks and backchecks with the best on our team, and Pacioretty wasn’t doing that last year.

    Desharnais’s goal was a direct result of a strong screen, and a turnover forced by Eller earlier in the play.  He’s got really strong  hockey instincts, where Patches is more of a physical specimen who just had to learn how to play at the pro level.

  22. SeriousFan09 says:

    RW Alexander Avstin is flashing his offensive skills in Hamilton these days, he now has 7 assists in his last 7 games. He’s now at 4G, 12A in 30GP on his season while battling some nagging injuries. Not bad for a 19-year old hitting NA ice for the first time.


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  23. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Watch the games closer.  He’s been very effective.  Did you think we were getting a player with Ovechkin like scoring prowess?  Let’s give the kid a few seasons to develop and mature before we run him out of town.

  24. JohnBellyful says:

    I was just pouring a little seltzer down your pants. I’ll pay for the cleaning bill.:)

  25. DearyLeary says:

    And he takes the puck away from opponents better than just about anyone on the team?  Losing an edge, getting hit (by a very big and ornery Philly team), the Canadiens were all on their asses at one point or another.  I’d put Eller up against any of our forwards in a puck battle scenario, and I’d pick him to win against all of them save Patches.  You’re being very selective if you want to point out the odd time that he falls down, because he’s been one of our best forcheckers (and backcheckers at that).

    At times he moves the puck tentatively, and that’ll get better with time.  But he’s a great skater and has good vision.  It’ll improve, and has improved this year.

    He’s got a good shot, but he’s not going to be shooting the lights out.  By holding onto the puck I have no idea what you’re babbling about, he’s just not going to shoot from low percentage areas, because he doesn’t have a Benny type release.

    So no.  I don’t agree with your contentions, because you’re cherry picking mistakes that haven’t just been happening to our rookies, but the rest of our team on a consistent basis over the entire year.  In fact, you described to a tee what our team looks like when we’re not playing well.  Frankly, there have been games where Eller looked like our best skater on the ice, not because he is the best skater, but because he battles all the time.  Just because he loses a battle from time to time doesn’t mean he ‘blows’.

  26. Mattyleg says:

    I’d like to see more from him.

    I see him as being similar to Patch last year. A lanky kid that has to grow into his body and needs to get some more confidence.

    It’s his tentativeness and the ease that others have in knocking him for a spin that concerns me.

    If he was racking up points while this was happening, then I’d have no trouble with it. Now, he seems a bit…. ehhh…

    Back to the minors to get him going again.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  27. Bill says:

    Edit: Y’know, you just joined, so I’m sorry, that was rude of me. Apoloies. I just wish no-one would ever use that cliched, consdescending, arrogant expression “anyone who knows anything about hockey” ever again. I must’ve read that here about 5000 times.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  28. SeriousFan09 says:

    Wisniewski wasn’t exactly putting on a clinic last night either Ian, I think that was easily the newcomer’s worst game in the CH. Don’t think he had one pass go anywhere near the tape of another player’s stick (or if it did, the guy was wearing Orange).


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  29. Mattyleg says:

    I’d love to show you clips of him losing battles along the boards, but they’re not posted online. Just watch the games.

    I’m not saying that he doesn’t put any effort in, far from it. He tries his heart out. But he always seems to end up on his arse. Three or four times last night he skidded into the boards on his back, or ended up in a lump when all the other players skated away from a scrum along the boards.

    And by not considering any of my other ‘key contentions,’ I assume you agree with them.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  30. andrewberkshire says:

    If it crosses the blueline that’s ok. I’ve noticed Price has cleared the zone with rebounds on purpose on the PK before. The biggest problem with Halak’s rebounds were that they were always right into the slot.

  31. DearyLeary says:

    We’re talking about the age of 21.  If you don’t think that Eller has progressed from the start of the season, you just have it out for the kid.  I still think that he’s on a 2-3 year progression to becoming a #2 center.  

    The fact that he’s contributing good minutes at the age of 21 is something that people don’t normally expect out of a mid first round draft pick.  He’s ahead of the development curve, whether you want to believe it or not.

  32. Mattyleg says:

    Plekanec had 29 points in 69 games when he was 22. Fact.

    Eller has 8 points at 21.


    In 46 games.

    I’m no matematician, but that’s about 0.1739 points per game.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  33. Chuck says:

    Especially about the rebound control. There were a few times during last season’s playoffs where he kicked pucks all the way back out to the blueline!

  34. Mattyleg says:

    He’s not playing NHL-quality hockey at the moment. I’m sure it all has to do with his confidence, but he’s not winning battles on the boards, he’s making tentative passes, he’s hanging on to the puck when he should be shooting quickly…

    I’m not saying the kid’s a dud. Not by a long shot. But I wish we weren’t in such a tight spot with players, because I’d love to see him go back down to the minors for some conditioning. Get some goals, feel like a big-time Charlie again.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  35. andrewberkshire says:

    Sounds like what many people were saying about Halak last year as well.

  36. TheDagger says:

    And Marty St. Louis, and Brett Hull, and Henrik Zetterberg…

  37. DearyLeary says:

    Nattinen was fun to watch.  I expect him to be a good 3rd/4th liner.  Bigger than our current crop as well.

  38. Danno says:

    Boyd is showing promise. Good for him to get the hat trick in front of his friends and family too.

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  39. Ian Cobb says:


  40. nick says:

    Don’t know if anyone else has seen this, I just saw it on Yahoo…

    Boyd!!! 3 goals?! Really!?

  41. deuce6 says:

    Carcillo, if I’m not mistaken…

    —————— Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  42. Timo says:

    He sees letters “p, u, n, k”, he takes it personally.

  43. larisalapointe says:

    How about this from a Blues fan……Great analysis.

    As a goalie, I’ll give you my take.

    I think he is a C (average) goalie and here is why:

    Lateral movement – A- – This guy has some real talent when it comes to his power slides and lateral movement. They haven’t been quite as sharp as late when you compare it to early in the season but they are very good.

    Facing up to the shooter – B+ – Because of his strong lateral movement, he is generally good about ensuring that he gets square to the shooter, putting himself in the best position to have a shot hit him.

    Reflexes – C+ – While his leg reflexes (lateral movement) are an A-, his glove and blocker reflexes do not seem to be nearly as strong.

    Rebound Control – D – In watching games all year, he seems to put himself in a great position to cover most of the net. This is great except that he appears content to almost let shots hit him, rather than guiding rebounds to the corner, catching pucks, cmothering shot, etc. To me, this is the biggest flaw in his game and also can add to some of the inflated shot totals you have seen because he gives up a lot of multiple shot sequences. Sometimes a goalie has no control of this, other times not so much. I know this as this is one of the areas of my game that i need to improe the most.

    Gloves – D – As many have commented, he often seem to have trouble catching pucks.

    Early in the season the D were doing a better job of clearing pucks out of the crease and marking up the forwards near the net which is why the goals against were lower. They have not been able to do as well in the middle part of the season. Doing this is critical to success if your goalie leaves these types of rebounds.

  44. fbkj says:

    yay look, i gotta live one here… nomnomnomnom

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