Starting now and for the rest of the playoffs, I will dedicate each of my “Hockey Quotes of the Week” to players who have won the Stanley Cup in the past or are in the Stanley Cup playoffs now.
Through most of this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak has let his game do the talking. Coming into the Eastern Conference finals against the Philadelphia Flyers, the young rookie goalkeeper has posted numbers that are a little hard to argue with:
14 games started, 2.63GAA,.927Sv%
But after Sunday night’s opening 6-0 debacle against the Flyers, Halak, along with the rest of the Canadians, had some explaining to do. The good news, however, is that Halak is as cool and collected in front of the media as he is online. Ask any hockey player and he’ll tell you this is what he wants: a guy between the pipes who doesn’t burn out and shake up after a loss. When asked to reflect on the game, here’s what Halak had to say (and our hockey quote of the week from Hockey Chump):
“We’re dealing with this in the first and second series: putting the big guys in front of me. It’s the playoffs. They want to win the game just as much as we do. We need to do a better job boxing the guys and we’ll be OK. I need to do a better job. work (see disk) too”.
So it looks like the Canadians are coming in with a game plan and that’s to make sure Halak gets to see the puck (makes sense I guess). However, what is interesting is that Halak references the other series in the quote from him and mentions that this series is no different from the previous two. Personally, I disagree. The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins are teams built around speed and finesse. The Flyers have speed, too, but what they lack in finesse (especially with the loss of Jeff Carter) they’ve made up for in relentless, punishing play. They’re a different animal than the Caps and Penguins, and they’re not going to shy away from the front of the net as easily as the other two teams.
This should be an interesting series and if only for the fans I hope the Canadians win. But Mr. Halak, you have a long battle ahead of you, one that I foresee will involve a lot of Carcillo, Hartnell and Asham to his face. Prepare to get dirty.