For at least two more games, Ken Hitchcock won’t have to discuss his starting goalie situation.
That’s because the St. Louis head coach announced on Monday that Jaroslav Halak will not play in the first two games of the Blues’ second-round series against the Los Angeles Kings.
Hitchcock made the decision public even though the Blues don’t know when their upcoming series will start, or what the schedule will look like. This has led some to speculate Halak’s suffered a fairly significant injury — believed to be a left ankle sprain — after colliding with teammate Barrett Jackman during a Game 2 victory over San Jose in the opening round.
That said, it seems unlikely Halak would’ve returned to the St. Louis goal even if healthy. All-Star Brian Elliott replaced Halak during the San Jose series and closed out the Sharks in style, allowing just five goals in four appearances while posting a .949 save percentage.
Elliott’s performance included a banner effort in the Game 5 elimination tilt, when he stopped 26 of 27 shots, 11 of which came in a busy third period as the Sharks tried to claw back.
With Halak out, AHL Peoria recall Jake Allen will continue to backup Elliott.