Jaroslav Halak has played just 116 games with the St. Louis Blues, but he has tied the franchise record for shutouts in that short time frame.
On Saturday, March 23rd, St. Louis Blues Coach Ken Hitchcock gave Jaroslav Halak the nod to start the game, but I doubt he knew that it would be a record night for the Blues. After a 3-0 win over the Oilers, Halak had moved into first in the Blues organization for shutouts, tied with Glenn Hall who set the record during the 1970-71 season.
Hall played 140 games in the Blue Note and had just two shutouts during his final season with the Blues in 1970-71. While Halak is not necessarily a fan favorite like Hall was, tying a franchise record may get him some more acclaim from fans.
While Halak didn’t manage to set a new record the next night in Calgary, his feat was accomplished in fewer games than Hall, priming him to set the record this season. Then take into account that Halak should be with this team for some time and the record is surely to be his for years to come.
Looking at the St. Louis Blues site, you can get a list of the netminders who are in the top 10 for the franchise in shutouts and it look something like this…
While some of you are probably surprised to see Romen Turek and Brent Johnson above Grant Fuhr on this list, you have to keep in mind how impressive this group of goaltenders has been for the St. Louis Blues. Turek was one of the Blues greats until he choked in playoff play and lost his game. Johnson looked like the future of the Blues for a moment, but then failed. Manny Legace fell out of favor with the team. Brian Elliott had an incredible season last year for the Blues, but then fell back to earth. Halak, Hall, Fuhr, Plante, and Liut. These are the names that stick out on this list. These are the netminders that have held this Blues team together during the greatest times of this franchise. Halak is still young, still gaining the confidence that he needs, and I believe he is the number one on this team.
Some of you might not realize how strong he has been, but look at last season. When Halak had a solid number two behind him it looked like he couldn’t lose. Don’t agree with me? Tell me why in the comments.
Hopefully Halak will get the chance to set a new franchise record sooner than later. Only time will tell how long it will take, but it is almost certainly not an if.
LET’S GO BLUES!