Holy Halak

The Washington Capitals brought their shots to the game, the problem was Montreal Canadien goaltender Jaroslav Halak had an answer for just about every one of them. In a game that was mostly dominated by the Capitals Halak turned away 53 shots and only allowing one goal against the offensive juggernaut that are the Washington Capitals. While Halak was brilliant, Caps’ netminder Semyon Varlamov was marginal. The result, a 4-1 win and a forced game seven by the Canadiens
Eric Fehr scored the only goal for the Capitals who once again were frustrated by the Habs defense. The Capitals were only able to score one goal out of 54 shots as well as 23 shots that were blocked and 17 shots that missed the net. For a whopping total of 94 shots the Caps attempted.

Special teams again do the Caps in as they went 0 for six on the power play and allowed a power play goal against. Mike Cammalleri came up huge with a power play goal in the first period. It was really all the Habs needed, as Halak seemed to find a zone. The puck was a beach ball to him and he was stopping everything.

The Capitals were unable to do anything to the three straight diving calls the Canadiens’ took. The power play just was not clicking for them. Even with a 5 on 3, the Caps were guilty of being “too cute.” A problem that has plague them all season long.

When the Canadiens’ took the 3-0 lead, game seven was inevitable. It would be the Capitals fourth straight playoff series that has gone to seven games. There record is a humble 1-2, including a drubbing on home ice by the Pittsburgh Penguins last post season.

The Capitals are guilty of relying too heavily on their offense that has, thus far, fallen short of expectations. Besides Nick Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin who both have 9 points (both have 5g, 4a) and Mike Knuble who has 6 points (2g, 4a) thus far in this series, no Capital has more than 4 points or 3 goals. And when that top line is shut down, the Habs are getting by with shots from second and third lines with no damage at all.

Alex Semin has taken the most shots in the post season by any other player, 0 goals. The top scoring defenseman for the Capitals Mike Green has yet to score a tally. Eric Belanger , Tomas Fleischmann and Brendan Morrison all have zero goals. There is nobody adding goal support for the top line and the Caps will suffer another game seven loss if that does not change.


25 Responses to Holy Halak

  1. simplyhabby says:

    Holy Halak is right.  Easily a top 5 if not top 3 hab playoff goaltending performance.

    For all those people who thought they had no chance in winning this series….you win and die on your goaltending….regardless how good your team is.

    If Montreal wins this series (which I still do not expect), they not only would of one because of their goaltending, but still would of won due to mediocre Caps goaltending. 

    Regardless…what an exciting series!

  2. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Eric Belanger, though not scoring, has made a presence in this series.

    Cammalieri has been great.

    Joe Corvo has been a great addition.

    Where is Semin, Laich, Fleischmann, Green???

  3. hockey_lover says:

    I read an awesome quote this morning but I cant find the article. It was basically:

    "In the 2nd period, the capitals were on a power play, most of it a 5 on 3. Halak had to stare down Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom, Green, and the rest of the Imperial Army of the Galactic Empire … and didnt surrender a goal."

    I just thought that was quite cheeky.


     I just want to say that the Refs work is disgusting! In game two one of Washington's player was right on top of Halak's back without being pushed there which translated in Washington's tying goal which they went on to win but NO-CALL on that play??? The very next game Plekanec barely touches the Caps defenseman which falls onto his goalie, right away the ref gave Plekanec a penalty,what was different from the previous game???If anything the infraction in game 2 was far worst than the one in game 4, then came the unsportmanlike conduct penalties to Gomez,Plekanec and Price which were ridiculous! But that wasn't it last night the refs gave the habs 3 diving penalties within 8 minutes more than the last 2 season combine and it was clear that the last 2 werent dives, obviously the Ref didn't think twice of the player's reputations.

     I'm not writing this cause i'm an Habs fans, ridiculous calls like this happens in all of playoffs but nobody can denied the multiple bad calls made against the habs in this playoffs, the Refs are obviously whats wrong with hockey and with all the bad calls made they are destroying the little bit of credibility this sport has left!

     If it weren't from all those suspicious calls the habs would already be trough that first round instead they will have to play game 7 in washington which seems impossible.

     Regardless of what happens in game 7 I'm pretty happy with what the Habs did in the playoffs and I am overwhelmed with Halak's performance!

     this game isn't about on how good you are anymore it's about what kind of mood the Refs are that day! Bettman's also a big part of that problem but what will it take to get rid of that rodent problem?


  5. HABSSTAR says:

    That was a clutch performance.  It seems kinda unfair to ask him to pull off two of those in a row but man what deal it would be if he did

    "some chicken, some neck"  

  6. Boston_Bruins says:

    It's pretty crazy to finally see a year where the young talent/rookies in goal don't struggle.

    Rask was pretty much what I expected him to be with the four c's: cool, calm, collected and consistent. He just kept playing the same way as he did in the regular season to get results.

    Halak has stood on his head. He did struggle a bit mid-series, but his performance over the last two games more than makes up for it.

    Howard started off awful but continually got better and now is back on top of his game.

    Niemi was an enigma alternating between good and bad games but ultimately he got the job done.

  7. nordiques100 says:

    This brings up an interesting question now no matter what happens tonight.

    What will the Habs do with Price?

    He is still a terrific goalie. I think he needs to get out of this hotbed in Montreal, needs strong guidance and needs a handler to keep his head on straight.

    There are a few teams looking for goalies, but just a few. And, there is a ton of goalies available.

    San Jose – if Nabby doesnt return, who is their new no. 1?
    Chicago – Do they stay with NIemi as the number 1 or upgrade?
    St Louis – Need new starter if Mason isnt brought back
    Edmonton – with Khabby perhaps done for good, need a new starter here
    Florida – Have Vokoun, but want to move him and get cheaper in goal
    Tampa – Is Mike Smith the true answer for them?
    Washington – Do they get a vet or stick with Varlamov/Neuvirth
    Phiiy – Is next year the year they finally get a true top starter?

    Available includes: Turco, Nabokov, Mason, Theodore, Biron, Hedberg, Vokoun, Huet, Ellis, Emery, Thomas, and now maybe Price.

    I think perhaps signing someone like Biron to back up Price and/or maybe getting a goalie prospect coming back in a Price trade would sufficiently provide depth in goal, while maybe acquiring other assets at other positions and strengthen the team overall.

    Yes, the potential of price is tantalizing. But, he needs out and there are teams out there possibly interested.

  8. reinjosh says:

    Rask is a gem. I have a feeling that might go down as one of the top 5 worst trades in history. Worst in Leaf history. He was great in that series.

    Halak had trouble but played amazing when it matters. Time will tell if he can keep up the consistency.

    Howard is going to be a good goalie one day. He still has a lot to grow into but he is shown real talent.

    Niemi was great in some games, ok in others, but he followed his team in that. Their whole team was an enigma that series.

    There is a lot of upcoming talent in this league with goaltenders. Elliot, Varlamov, Halak, Price, Niemi, Howard, Quick, Lehtonen, Mason (even with his bad year, he has a ton of talent), Rask, Hiller, Gustavsson and prospects like Markstrom, Bernier, Schneider, Chet Pickard. New generation moving in and kicking out the old.

  9. reinjosh says:

    Florida has Markstrom. If anything they sign a guy like Biron or Mason or Emery as a stop gap measure or a platoon system to allow Markstrom time to understand the NA game. They won't go after any big name guy like Price.

    I'm still calling Price to Philly for JVR plus. Trading players within conferences isn't a concern that teams think about much anymore.

  10. Boston_Bruins says:

    It's interesting that basically every guy on there is a giant, with Bernier and Halak being the only real exceptions there. The age of smaller goalies like Osgood and Joseph seem to be dying out as it seems to be a prerequisite for goalies to be big now. The ones that are quick and athletic seem to be set, and if they have great technical form, you have yourself an elite young goalie.

    Markstrom in particular scares me. He's 6'4 but his movements across the crease are EXPLOSIVE. Great athleticism, but he shows a sound butterfly style that keeps him in control of things.

    I have to say that I'm thrilled with Rask. He's so technically sound that even the goals he lets in just seem to be minor glitches where he misjudges things by an inch. The best example of that I can think of is the goal he let in by Kaberle way back. He tried to knock the puck into the corner with his stick but it ended up redirecting off the post, off of him, and in. Just an inch the other way and it's a good save. If he sees a puck, 99% of the time he's going to stop it.

    Gustavsson is an interesting goalie. I think he's up there for the most natural talent and athleticism on that list but he just has to put it together. It does take a while to adjust to the NA game, but in time it shouldn't be a problem with Allaire there. Lehtonen (disregarding the injuries) is an example of a guy that hasn't put it together yet, but even getting by on his natural talent he's a pretty damn good goalie.

  11. Boston_Bruins says:

    I can't help to think that Price would be pretty unhappy in Philadelphia.

    Gauthier to Price: "Hey Carey, I know things haven't worked out for you here in Montreal so I've decided to send you to a lower-pressure market where the fans won't eat you alive even for letting in a goal that was impossible to stop. I'm sending you to… Philly."

    I can already see the evil grin on Gauthier's face.

  12. THENOTORIOUS says:

     Like Nordique said above, regardless of what happens tonight the Habs won't be able to keep both Price and Halak, Regardless of what happens tonight Halak will get at least 4+ millions for the up-coming season and Price will get around 3 so with only 12 million left to spend and with player like Plekanec unsigned Montreal can't afford to pay their goalies a total of 7 million/year not to mentioned the 10 roster spot left to fill.
    So therefor a trade is imminent, Myself I would never trade Price, this guy is good and still very young and trading at such an early stage would probably come back to big the habs in the Arss but how can the Habs trade Halak after what he's done for them?

     Either way you look at it the Habs GM will have to make a tough decision. Here are a few trade proposal IF the habs decides to trade Price….

    1.Price and Hamrlik to St_Louis for Backes and Pietrangelo

    2.AK, SK, Price and Hamrlik to Edmonton for Svenson,Souray and Hemsky

    3. Price to San-Jose for Couture and a 1st or 2nd rounder

    4. Price, Hamrlik and a 3rd rounder to Philly for Carle, Hartnell and a 1st rounder

    5. Price to Philly for VRD and a 2nd rounder.


  13. reinjosh says:

    Yeah, definitely. The era of the large goalie is coming into existence. It just makes sense too. The bigger you are, the more of the net you can cover.

    Markstrom is definitely in line to become a franchise goalie. I loved watching him at the WJC the last two seasons. And an international record of 12 and 3? Thats pretty damn impressive. 8 and 2 at the WJC's?

    Rask is solid and seems to have composure of a veteran. Everytime I watch him, I'm not sure whether to be awed by his talent or pissed that we traded him away.

    Gustavsson is very interesting. His raw talent is through the roof. Put together with the size, its a combination that could be deadly for us in the future. That said, he has a lot of work to be done. The transition was rough but nearing the end of the season, he started to play better and it looked like his work with Allaire was greatly improving his game. Obviously him getting better is no guarantee but from what I have seen and the willingness he has shown to improve his game, I'm excited for what's too come.

    The new goaltending generation is definitely interesting and with the likely departure of Brodeur in a season or two, it will be interesting to see who steps up as the premier goalie in the league. The obvious candidate is Luongo, but he hasn't been great since that new contract (hes been good, just not great, although I suspect he has been playing injured in the playoffs) but so many others are emerging and still might emerge.

  14. Boston_Bruins says:

    Yeah Markstrom seems to have that demeanour that allows him to succeed on the big-stage like in the WJC.

    The Rask trade is a head-scratcher for sure. I understand having two solid-looking goalie prospects may make them inclined to trade one, but Rask's potential was through the roof at the time of that trade. It seems like Burke has learned from Fergusen's mistake by signing what seems to be his 50th goalie prospect in the last week.

    Gustavsson undoubtedly has awesome raw talent. Judging by his stats he's definitely appearing to get better. It makes sense as he adjusts to the NA game.

    I'm just not sold on Luongo anymore. Yeah, it could just be an off-year but he had so many awful games this year. Miller will be a threat for that title and I still have some faith that Rask can get there soon.

  15. Boston_Bruins says:

    I think you're vastly underrating the St. Louis players. Pietrangelo might be the best defense prospect in the world and Backes is the big-bodied do-it-all player that the Canadiens sorely need.

  16. reinjosh says:

    I had so many friends that called the Rask trade a terrible trade, at the time it happened. It was the perfect storm of a GM's stupidity and fighting to save his job, the pressure from upper management, and the fans need to be winners that allowed it to happen. Chiarellie capitalized it and all the power too him.

    I completely agree with you on Luongo. He seems to be coming in to the spotlight and its exposing him. He is going to need a great season to get back to his premier spot among goalies. And yeah, I had completely forgot about Miller.

  17. Boston_Bruins says:

    I remember at that draft when I heard Raycroft was getting traded I thought we could get maybe a third round pick back and was hoping for a second round pick, but that was pretty shocking.

    It's great when your team is on that side of a trade. Pretty much the opposite from the Thornton trade where I was shocked and disappointed right away but thought it would be ok in the end because "Obviously Marleau + will be coming back"… nope.

    I've always thought Miller was great but he really hasn't had a season close to this so he has to prove he can keep this up. Personally I hope he doesn't because I just flat out don't like the guy. He's *****y beyond belief and never seems to take any responsibility as I learned from the Bruins series.

  18. reinjosh says:

    Yeah, I know how it is on both sides. The Phaneuf trade was one for the good side. I thought Schenn was going back for sure, but nope.

    Yeah, I would agree on his attitude. Plus he tailed off as the season went.

  19. THENOTORIOUS says:

    I don't think Pietrangelo is the best d prospect in the world, he had injuries and didn't have a very convincing couple years, as for Backes the Blues will most likely lose him anyway, throw in a pick or prospect if you would like but I know what your sayin, Pietrangelo could become another Pronger but Price could also turn into something pretty good!

  20. Boston_Bruins says:

    I'm not really arguing the value of Price versus Backes and Pietrangelo as much as I'm arguing the St. Louis players versus your other deals, and the Sharks and Flyers ones in particular. I just think Backes and Pietrangelo is far superior to any other package you have up there, evn with an extra third round pick thrown in. And Pietrangelo has looked unbelievable since coming back.

  21. Boston_Bruins says:

    Yeah, the Phaneuf trade was a good one evn if Phaneuf hasn't looked as good the last year or so. Sutter made some questionable moves this year.

    Miller regained his form in the playoffs, so that shouldn't be a worry, but he definitely has an attitude. Confidence is all well and good, but he's just downright *****y. And I meant to say he doesn't take responsibility for his mistakes. I'd always hear him blaming everything on defensive-zone coverage and Boston getting all the bounces. It was true for some of the goals but he was to blame for some too, and he didn't own up to it.

  22. reinjosh says:

    Theres a reason the Hockey News and hockeysfuture.com both ranked him the best prospect in the world.

  23. DannyLeafs says:

    It is a little skewed. I also think that the package he has Montreal giving up is the worst package of any deal, so really it's the worst package Montreal has to offer, and that is likely the best package they could get. It is a little unbalanced. If you take out Hamrlik and throw in a decent bottom six player or an ok forward prospect, it would be a little more fair. I also think Hamrkil has a negative value, so he isn't an addition in St.Louis eyes, he is a cap burden.

  24. kilter says:

    OK…..NOW maybe you can see the light,i,ve been saying year after year that Halak was the guy in Montreal,but  everyone thought i was off my rocker!!!!! Well the proof is in the pudding people,Price is just not cut out for the NHL,trade him as fast as you can while he is still worth something,and you know what,so what if he turns out to be great,is he really gonna be any better than what you just witnessed Halak do to the Capitals…i dont think so!

  25. kilter says:

    how can u say Price is worth 3 million…lol,he is absolutly terrible,when was the last game you see him steal a win for the Habs,i dont care how young he is,Halak is only 24,what do you think is going to happen to Price in the next couple of years ,some kind of magical tranformation and will all of a sudden turn into this wonder kid goalie!!! I said 3 yrs ago Halak was the man and he got better and better every year till now look at him! Price showed flashes of brilliance but with more and more ice time he weaknesses became more glaring to the point where everyone just shoots from everywhere on him because you never know!

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