Oct 25, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) blocks a shot against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jaroslav Halak returns to Montreal as the Blues battle the Canadiens

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On Saturday, the Blues played victims to an old teammate getting the best of his former club.

Ben Bishop was stellar in net for the Tampa Bay Lightning, stopping 28 of 30 shots en route to a 4-2 victory over the Blues. Bishop, a former top prospect in the St. Louis organization, was traded to the Ottawa Senators at the 2012 trade deadline for a second-round draft pick.

The move made sense at the time. Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott were well on their way to the Jennings Trophy, and Ben Bishop had nothing else to prove at the AHL level. The St. Louis native went on to spend parts of two seasons in Ottawa, where he was once again fighting for playing time behind Craig Anderson.

However, Bishop finally got his chance to be a starting goalie this past April, when he was traded to the Lightning. After a good finish to the 2013 season, Bishop has started out the 2013-2014 campaign on fire. Entering Tuesday, he has a 9-2 record, bookended by a .925 save percentage and a 2.15 goals against average.

It took a long time, but Bishop finally got his chance to showcase his skills against his former club on Saturday. As you can expect, Bishop was candid about how meaningful the game was to him.

“It was definitely special,” Bishop said. “First time I ever played against them. I grew up rooting for them, going to games, drafted by them, played for them. A lot of friends over there, so it was definitely special.”

On Tuesday, it will be the Blues chance to be the beneficiaries of an old teammate enacting revenge on his former club.

Jaroslav Halak will lead the Blues into the Bell Centre for a showdown against the Montreal Canadiens. Halak may be best known around the NHL for his epic playoff run in 2010, when he lead the Canadiens to the Eastern Conference Finals as an eight seed, knocking off Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals before dispatching Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

However, even after his epic playoff run, the Canadiens decided to stick with Carey Price in net, trading Halak to the Blues in the summer of 2010.

This will be the second time Halak has returned to the Bell Centre since being traded. In January of 2012, he shut out his former team 3-0 , after which he received a standing ovation from the Canadian faithful.

Halak, who is 2-0 all-time against Montreal, is looking forward to another opportunity to play against the organization that drafted him.

“I had a great time there, made a great run in the playoffs. It’s always great to go back and play in Montreal. It’s such a great building, great fans, and I really enjoy the game we played there, especially the end. It was really nice to see the people, they gave me a really nice ovation at the end.

If Halak can use that motivation to his advantage like Bishop did Saturday night, Blues chances of walking out of the Bell Centre with two points are good.

 

 

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