Is Jaroslav Halak to Blame? No.
Through the power of Twitter, fans, teams and reporters are connected in ways previously not thought of. Through it fans analyze, examine and break down literally everything we see on the ice. As the Blues have struggled over the past couple weeks, Jaroslav Halak has been one of the most popular topics discussed. Why is he struggling? Is he to blame for the team’s slow streak? Simply put, no he is not.
Fans love to overreact and jump ship despite there being plenty of season left. I’ve seen demands that Halak get dealt, fans thinking he is done or a fluke. Frankly, it is pretty absurd what some fans out there have been saying about Halak. This post is a rebuttal that should illustrate that despite the bumps in the road, Halak has been a solid number one.
Just look at the numbers.
Halak has appeared in 21 games this season. Over those starts he has compiled an 11-7-3 record which while it isn’t spectacular, it isn’t completely his fault. Lack of goal support from his teammates has been a factor in his win/loss record as has some questionable defensive play.
Halak maintains a tidy 2.36 GAA, which actually ranks better (though slightly) than his 2.40 GAA mark he had at the end of last season. Fan that expected him to come in and have a GAA below two probably had unrealistic expectations all the way round.
His save percentage is .910%, which isn’t fantastic but it isn’t dreadul either. Halak did have a save percentage last season of .924%. This is an area he can improve. Cut out a few of the fluke goals (him scoring on himself) and you likely have a save percentage right in the ballpark as the one we saw last season.
I’m not saying Halak hasn’t let in his fair share of soft goals – he certainly has. I am making the case that he should not be pointed at as the lone man responsible as I have seen many fans suggest through the various forms of the Internet.
Then there is Ty Conklin. Conks has gotten off to a terrible start and will need to string together some solid performances in order to improve his dreadful numbers. Through six appearances, Conklin has gone 2-2-1 but has an ugly 3.38 GAA with a .866 save percentage. Hopefully he can right the ship and give the Blues the formidable 1-2 tandem they should have.
Obviously Halak can not play every night and the Blues need to know that they can count on their backup.
Look at the numbers Blues fans – there are plenty of other areas to focus and worry about that deserve are attention. Halak has had amazing streaks and rough ones, but in the end the numbers still paint a pretty positive picture.