According to Andy Strickland, the St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock will give Jaroslav Halak the nod in Monday's game against the Predators. The "How to Beat the Goalie" posts continue breaking down the St. Louis starter.
The St. Louis Blues have a goaltending problem, however it is a good problem, opposed to the problem the Vancouver Canucks have with Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider. The Blues have two good goaltenders that could lead them to a Stanley Cup in Jaro Halak and Brian Elliot.
Halak was named the starter at the beginning of the season, but don't look too much into that. Ken Hitchcock said last season that he will go with the "hot hand" whether it is Halak or Elliot. Last season, the Blues started with Halak and finished with Elliot, so whoever does get the start, it really does depend on who is hotter right now, not just mumbo jumbo from Hitchcock.
One game in the season, Halak has already recorded a shutout against the Detroit Red Wings. Brian Elliot will get his chance Tuesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks. No doubt, it will be a difficult job handling these two Vezina worthy goalies.
Here is how the Predators will attempt to beat Halak:
Traffic in front: The Predators will need to put traffic in front of Halak. This will take away his vision and leave him hanging out to dry. Also, it will be up to the defenseman at the point to shoot blocker side because he will be lazy lifting it up. On the powerplay is when this will be the prime time to do so.
Bad puck control: Halak will leave rebounds. Having players crashing the net will leave him defenseless and will go in a shell. Halak tends to "give up" when the puck goes to the other side while he is already down. Trotz will have players crashing the net at all times trying to get the dirty goal.
Blocker side and lateral movement is his weakness. Having one chance and trying to snipe Halak is usually not an option.
Jaroslav Halak's Career Stats vs Nashville
#41 Jaroslav Halak