On Apr. 14, Jaroslav Halak was pulled from Game 2 of the Blues-Sharks series with what was later revealed to be a high ankle sprain.
Three months later, he’s still not 100 percent.
That’s the word out of St. Louis as Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch caught up with Blues GM Doug Armstrong, who spoke about the ailing netminder.
“[Halak’s] still experiencing a little bit of … I don’t want to say pain, but a little discomfort when he does some movement,” Armstrong said. “The injury lingers, and for a goalie, because of the movement that’s necessary, it takes a little longer than maybe for a skater.”
In June, the Blues said Halak’s target date to be cleared for activity was “early July.” Now it’s more like “late July” as Armstrong said he’ll be cleared by the 21st (Saturday) and will return to St. Louis from his native Slovakia in August.
The big question is if a three-month layoff will mess with Halak’s offseason training regimen. The Jul. 21 clearance date gives him two months to rehab and get back into game shape — assuming the season starts on time, of course — something that doesn’t seem to worry Armstrong.
“I’m 100 percent comfortable that within probably a week he’ll be cleared and be ready to go by training camp,” Armstrong said. “We’re in a good spot right now with that injury … so there should be no issues.”
Note: Rutherford also writes that St. Louis is “expected” to again use the Halak-Brian Elliott combo in goal next season, and shares this…
The two goalies appeared to feed off each other during the regular season, which is why Halak’s absence in the playoffs was a costly one.
Elliott rose to the occasion in the first round, helping the Blues oust the Sharks in five games, but faltered in the second round, being asked to start a season-long string of seven games.
Halak played in 46 games (25 wins) and Elliott played in 38 (23 wins). The pair combined for 15 shutouts — nine from Elliott, six from Halak.