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.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.