From now until 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 now in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
For most of this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, Montreal Canadiens goalkeeper Jaroslav Halak has let his game speak for him. Coming into the Eastern Conference finals against the Philadelphia Flyers, the young rookie goalie has posted numbers that are hard to argue with:
14 games started, 2.63GAA, .927Sv%
But after Sunday night’s 6-0 opening debacle against the Flyers, Halak, along with the rest of the Canadiens, had some explaining to do. However, the good news is that Halak is as calm and collected in front of the media as he is on the web. Ask any hockey player and they’ll tell you this is what they want: a guy in the pipeline who doesn’t drain and isn’t moved after a loss. When asked to reflect on the game, here’s what Halak had to say (and our Hockey Chump quote of the week):
“We faced this in the first and second series: having the greats in front of me. It’s the playoffs. They want to win the game as much as we do. We have to do a better job in boys boxing and we will agree. I need to. do a better job (see the album) too. “
So it looks like the Canadiens are going to come in with a game plan and that’s to make sure Halak can see the puck (makes sense I guess). What’s interesting, however, is that Halak references the other series in his quote, and makes light mention that this series is no different than the previous two. Personally, I beg to differ. The Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins are teams built around speed and finesse. The Flyers also have speed, but what they lack in finesse (especially with the loss of Jeff Carter) they have made up for in relentless and punishing play. They are a different animal than the Caps and Penguins, and they are 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 even if it’s just for the fans, I hope the Canadiens 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 asses to your face. Prepare to get dirty.