Do the Isles finally have a goalie in Halak?


Based on the numbers? Absolutely.

Consider: in 272 appearances for Montreal, St. Louis and Washington, Jaroslav Halak has a career NHL save percentage of .918. That puts the 29-year-old in the company of Pekka Rinne (.918) and Sergei Bobrovsky (.919), and not all that far off from Henrik Lundqvist (.920).

Goalies with a career save percentage below Halak’s include Carey Price (.917), Jimmy Howard (.916), Ryan Miller (.915), Corey Crawford (.914), and many others with recognizable names.

If there’s a risk in signing Halak to a four-year deal, as the Islanders have done, it might be his health. Halak has a history of groin injuries, and that’s a concern for any goalie.

But the groin wasn’t an issue for Halak last season, thanks perhaps to a more dedicated offseason fitness regimen.  And at any rate, a risk-free goalie simply doesn’t exist. All of them can get injured. All of them struggle at times. It’s the nature of the position. If Isles general manager Garth Snow were to have signed Miller or Jonas Hiller, two other pending unrestricted free agents, there would’ve been no guarantees either.

Snow, to his credit, targeted Halak, and he got him. And Isles fans should be happy about that. Now it’s up to Halak to deliver, because there’s a lot more than just a playoff spot riding on their 2014-15 season.

Isles’ team save percentage, by season

2013-14: .894 (30th in NHL)
2012-13: .899 (T-24th)
2011-12: .898 (T-28th)
2010-11: .902 (T-23rd)
2009-10: .901 (T-23rd)
2008-09: .900 (T-23rd)