Jaroslav Halak

St. Louis has a weird goaltending history


Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that, with a 3-0 shutout of San Jose on Sunday, Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak moved into second place on the franchise’s career shutout list.

/screeches tires


After some digging, it turns out this report is totally true. Even though three Hall of Fame goalies plied their trade in St. Louis (Glenn Hall, Jacques Plante and Grant Fuhr ) it’s Halak — who has been a Blue for exactly one year, seven months and 27 days — that just passed the immortal Roman Turek for the No. 2 spot.

Shocking? Well, not really when you consider what the future holds — four more shutouts and Halak becomes St. Louis’ all-time leader.

At the rate Halak is going, he could have the record by March. He has five shutouts in his last 10 games and boasts a 1.97 GAA (fourth in the NHL) with a .922 save percentage.

This tells you two things: 1) Halak is having a very good season and 2) The franchise’s all-time shutout leaders list is bizarre. Consider the top 10:

1. Glenn Hall– 16 
(A legend)

T-2. Jaroslav Halak — 13 
(Still feel like this happened too quickly)

T-2. Roman Turek — 13
(Along with Cechmanek, proved goalies named Roman aren’t trustworthy)

4. Brent Johnson — 12
(Now the backup in Pittsburgh)

5. Grant Fuhr — 11
(Was 33 when he went to St. Loo)

T-6. Mike Liut — 10
(Even though he leads the Blues in appearances, I refuse to acknowledge him as anything other than a Whaler)

T-6. Manny Legace — 10
(Just had a “Oh wow, he was their starter for a while!” flashback)

T- 6. Jacques Plante — 10
(Won a Vezina, got traded to Toronto, made the All-Star team. Good trade, St. Loo.)

9. Greg Millen — 9
(Remember when he played for Quebec? Yeah, me neither)

10. Chris Mason — 8 
(No. 3 on Nashville’s list!)

Meanwhile, ol’ Curtis Joseph — who played 280 games for St. Louis, second-most of all time — sits in 14th, behind both Jamie McLennan and Ty Conklin.

Speaking of Joseph, he’ll likely soon be passed by Brian Elliott, who in 26 games has as many shutouts (five) as Joseph did from 1989-95.

In conclusion, St. Louis’ goaltending history is weird.

Struggling Sabre Tyler Ennis out with upper-body injury

Tyler Ennis, James Wisniewski
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Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.

Perhaps some of that has to do with health?

Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.

The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.

“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”

He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.

WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)

Ryan White, Matt Martin
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You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.

Here are the handy links for the two contests.

First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.


After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.


Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer

Johansen calls trade rumblings ‘weird,’ says relationship with Torts is ‘great’

Ryan Johansen
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One day after reports surfaced of Ryan Johansen being at the center of trade talks, all parties involved from Columbus did what they’re supposed to do — downplay the situation.

You can read the denials in full over at the Dispatch, but here’s the gist:

— Johansen said the rumors were “weird” and that he’s “never seen it before.” He also said there were no issues between him and head coach John Tortorella, calling the relationship “great.”

— GM Jarmo Kekalainen wouldn’t address the report, nor would Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt.

— Johansen added he hasn’t spoken to any of Columbus’ management about the trade rumblings.

So there’s that. What’s next?

At this stage of the game, it’s hard not to think about another Overhardt client, Kyle Turris.

Turris, you’ll recall, spent four (mostly) stormy years with the Coyotes before his trade out to Ottawa was orchestrated. Turris eventually told GM Don Maloney “this is not going to work out” with the club, and he was gone.

So, consider the similarities now:

— Turris was 22 at the time of the trade, with four years and 137 games under his belt.

— Johansen is 23, with five years and 291 games.

— Both had contentious contract holdouts with their respective clubs.

— Both are Overhardt guys.

— The Turris trade happened after the Coyotes went from Wayne Gretzky to Dave Tippett as head coach.

— Johansen is already on his third head coach (Scott Arniel, Todd Richards, Tortorella).

For now, these are all coincidences (or a forced narrative, depending what you think of the author).

And, of course, the one big — big — difference between the two is that, at the time of his trade, Turris wasn’t as good or established a player as Johansen currently is. Therefore, logic suggests any Johansen trade would be a lot more blockbuster-y and, therefore, probably more complex.

And as we know, complex deals aren’t easy to pull off.