Should be a fun night in Montreal. Jaroslav Halak makes his return to Montreal, the city where he made his name, most notably behind that ridiculous playoff run the Canadiens had a couple years back behind the goaltending of Halak. He of course singlehandedly knocked off the Penguins and Capitals before falling in the Conference Finals to the Philadelphia Flyers. When Halak was traded the summer after, it was a tough time for many Montreal fans, although in retrospective it might have been the right move. Halak is playing some really good hockey right now after a rough start this season, while the Habs have won two straight games. All sets up for a fun return and a great hockey game.
Halak had the following comments in advance of the game.
“It is kind of perfect, but we’ll see how the game will go … I can never forget about the great times that I had there,” said Halak, who is 9-7-5 on the season with a 2.29 GAA and .911 save percentage. “Every game is a different game. One game, the bounces go your way and some games, the bounces just go in. We’ll see. Obviously if I get the start, I’ll try to do my best. It’s another game and two points on the line. I had a great time there, but this is my home right now and I just want to win for us.”
“It was a great time (in Montreal). I got traded and we didn’t have to go there last year. They came here and I think that was perfect. … It’s going to be emotional, but at the same time, probably less than it would have been last season. I still have a few friends (on the team), but when we play against them, there’s no friends on the ice. I’m looking forward to seeing some friends off the ice. We’ll see how it goes. I can’t wait to go back in the building.”
There was some question as to whether or not Halak would even get the start tonight, Elliott was coming off a shutout and has played better this season, although it’s been very close lately. Hitchcock put that to rest very quickly.
“This is once in a lifetime. Ideal situation, you want to support the shutout (by Elliott on Saturday) … I mean, come on, first time going back. I think in fairness to Jaroslav he had a heck of a time there. I think it would be dismissive of me to not recognize that.”
Nicely said coach. He’s been so good for the Blues. I wonder where that was the first time Vokoun went back against the Panthers and Washington coach Hunter benched him earlier this season. There are some times it’s important to let your guy play the special games. Should be a good one tonight!
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