News and notes from the blue paint…
Halak won’t face ex-mates
Jaroslav Halak won’t be in goal for Washington tonight when the Caps try to keep their playoff hopes alive against Halak’s ex-team, the St. Louis Blues.
The reason why Halak’s been passed over in favor of Braden Holtby, though, remains a mystery.
A piece on CSN Washington suggested Halak was keen to face his old club — “I played there four years, I know these guys,” he said. “Obviously, I’m looking forward to going back there,” — but in explaining his decision to start Holtby, Caps head coach Adam Oates suggested the Slovakian netminder actually asked out of the start:
Oates said Halak told coaches he wasn’t completely comfortable facing Blues for the first time since the trade, so they’re going with Holtby
— Katie Carrera (@kcarrera) April 8, 2014
Considering Halak’s been Washington’s goalie of record in 11 of the last 14 games, going with Holtby in tonight’s must-win situation is curious. That said, Holtby did snap the Caps’ five-game losing streak with a 4-3 shootout decision over the Islanders on Saturday.
Red Wings at Sabres: Jimmy Howard vs. Matthew Hackett
Sens at Isles: Craig Anderson vs. Anders Nilsson
‘Canes at Rangers: Cam Ward vs. Henrik Lundqvist
Coyotes at Blue Jackets: Thomas Greiss vs. Sergei Bobrovsky
Flyers at Panthers: Steve Mason vs. Roberto Luongo
Leafs at Lightning: James Reimer vs. Ben Bishop
Bruins at Wild: Tuukka Rask vs. Ilya Bryzgalov
Preds at Stars: Pekka Rinne vs. Kari Lehtonen
Avs at Oilers: J.S. Giguere vs. Ben Scrivens