Blues GM voices support for Halak, insists goalie will be given chance


Jaroslav Halak is “going to have the opportunity to show what he’s capable of,” says Blues general manager Doug Armstrong, per the Post-Dispatch.

Which would seem to lessen the probability that St. Louis addresses its goaltending prior to Wednesday’s deadline. Say, by getting Ryan Miller out of Buffalo.

According to Armstrong, Halak deserves the opportunity to show he can get the job done in the playoffs — an opportunity that injuries haven’t allowed so far.

“Jaro has been our starting goaltender for exactly two playoff games,” Armstrong said. “He hasn’t failed.”

Maybe not, but his play at the Olympics was far from a success, despite the reasons (excuses?) coach Ken Hitchcock gave for that.

It’s always hard to take general managers at their word at this time of the year, when it’s all a big poker game with other GMs. That said, Halak was solid in his first game back with the Blues, stopping 34 of 35 shots last night in a 1-0 loss in Vancouver, upping his save percentage to a respectable .917.

St. Louis takes on the Ducks Friday in Anaheim.

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.