Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/18/14

DENVER - NOVEMBER 15: Goalie Jaroslav Halak of the St. Louis Blues looks on as he faces the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on November 15, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Blues 6-3. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Washington Capitals goaltender Jaroslav Halak had an opportunity to play against his former team and show it why trading him prior to the March 5 NHL trade deadline was a mistake, but instead of relishing the opportunity to make a statement, he wanted no part of starting net Tuesday night. “We know the feelings when you go into your old stomping ground and it’s not always easy and you’re not always comfortable, at least the first time,” Oates said in St. Louis on Tuesday, per Katie Carrera of The Washington Post. “We talked to [Halak] and he just wasn’t 100 percent comfortable. Unfortunately this time of year and where we’re at, we can’t afford that and Holts has played great lately. We feel really good about that and Holts is playing.” Despite having a mediocre 4-4-2 record since the Capitals acquired him from the Buffalo Sabres at the trade deadline, Halak has been better than 24-year-old netminder Braden Holtby, who will start Tuesday night against the Blues. Halak had an impressive .925 save percentage in March, compared to Holtby’s mark of .908 and disappointing 2-3-1 record. Halak’s decision must has be incredibly frustrating for Oates, a head coach speculated to be on the hot seat after a disappointing season in Washington. The Capitals are in serious danger of missing the playoffs and have only a 2.2 percent chance of earning one of the wild-card berths in the Eastern Conference, per Sports Club Stats. The team is four points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets with just four regular-season games remaining. It’s also an embarrassing moment for Halak, whose reputation will certainly take a hit for wanting no part of an important game late in the season.  The Blues felt they needed to make a goaltending upgrade before the playoffs and pulled off a bold five-player trade to acquire Miller from Buffalo and send Halak to the Sabres. The deal was a message to Halak that he wasn’t the right guy to lead St. Louis to a Stanley Cup title after three unsuccessful playoff runs with the Central Division team, which under most circumstances, would make a player have a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. Halak could become an unrestricted free agent this summer and might be the best goalie on the market. It will be interesting to see how this decision impacts his free-agent stock when general managers on contending teams analyze the goaltending market in July. Photo via Twitter/@NHLNewWorldFiled under: NHL, Nicholas Goss, Top Stories
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Darrelle Revis, Ndamukong Suh exchange words after game

Curt Schilling's son causes scare at Logan Airport

Manziel's girlfriend tells Browns to put Johnny Football in

Scalpers in Detroit selling free Jets-Bills tickets for $125

Report: Redskins could bench Robert Griffin III

Broncos have meeting with scoreboard operator

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Cowboys could still pursue Adrian Peterson

Manny Pacquiao: I'm ready to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.

John Calipari gets daughter's birthday wrong

Carson: Hall of Fame career not worth concussion problems

Tiger hires new swing coach

Is Sting making his WWE debut at Survivor Series?

WATCH: Odell Beckham Jr makes catch-of-the-year

WATCH: Marshawn Lynch's awesome post game interview

Video: RG3 gets crushed, his linemen look unfazed

WATCH: Dominic Raiola tries to cheap-shot Patriots' lineman

WATCH: Janoris Jenkins returns interception for 99 yd TD

WATCH: TY Hilton chokes up in emotional postgame interview

WATCH: Chris Clemons accidentally knocks ref's hat off

WATCH: Aaron Rodgers throws nifty TD across his body

WATCH: LeGarrette Blount does Antonio Brown's end zone dance

WATCH: Eagles take opening kickoff 107 yards for TD

Western Carolina coach blasts Kirk Herbsreit

WATCH: Young reporter asks Helfrich funny question

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Dominic Raiola admits to dirty play

WATCH: Revis, Suh exchange words

Manziel's GF wants her man to play

Cowboys to pursue Adrian Peterson?

Cal gets daughter's bday wrong

Carson: Career not worth concussions

Report: Gundy pursuing Florida job

Tiger hires new swing coach

WATCH: Jameis Winston shoves ref

Florida DL supports Will Muschamp with eye black

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled'

LeBron: Love needs to 'demand' the ball

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.