Halak Shuts Out Edmonton, Ties Grant Fuhr’s Mark
Jaroslav Halak posted his fourth shutout (and third in four games) in a 1-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night. The win wasn’t pretty. The Blues narrowly escaped with the victory after an impressive performance from Edmonton’s Nikolai Khabibulin. It wasn’t until late in the third period that Alex Pietrangelo finally broke the tie, giving Halak his 13th win of the year and fourth shutout of the season. With four clean sheets in 2011-12, Halak now has 11 as a member of the St. Louis Blues – a mark that ties former netminder Grant Fuhr.
To be fair, this was a game the St. Louis Blues were supposed to win. Featuring a lineup plagued with injuries, including a nasty one to Taylor Hall, the Edmonton Oilers were ripe for the picking. Edmonton forced just 15 shots on Halak’s cage and often struggled to keep any sort of momentum while desperately trying to exit out of their own zone. Meanwhile, the Blues hounded the Edmonton goal with 38 shots to go along with numerous shots that were either blocked before reaching the net or ones that missed the net entirely.
Halak didn’t have too much work to do in the game’s first period, being called into action just four times. The same can be said of the third period where he also stopped just four pucks. Still, regardless of effort exerted, Halak’s shutout tonight is an important one in the record books.
Halak now has 11 shutouts as a member of the St. Louis Blues. To date, he has four in 2011-12 to go along with the seven he posted in 2010-11. This line of 11 shutouts now matches the total Grant Fuhr posted in his four years with the club (Thanks to ClaudiaDCuba for bringing this stat to our attention). It’s worth noting it took Halak only 82 games to reach 11 shutouts while it took Fuhr 249.
Looking a bit further into the future, Halak could easily challenge the franchise record for most shutouts by a goaltender. The current record is held by Glenn Hall who had 16 during his time with the Blues. With two years still on his contract, it’s pretty easy to imagine we will be talking about Halak eclipsing Hall in the near future.