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Evaluation on Halak

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Old
10-15-2011, 10:45 AM
  #1
Serenade
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Evaluation on Halak

Hello Everyone,

I'd like to have some input on how Halak is doing thus far by some Blues faithful. I haven't had a chance to watch any games. I'm expecting him to do well this year.

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10-15-2011, 12:00 PM
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He's been really bad.

He has been the reason Blues have lots each game.

Blues have been outshooting their opponents in each game.

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10-15-2011, 12:21 PM
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He hasn't been playing at the level that he needs to play at. He hasn't been tested much at all- not just with the low number of shots against him, but I can't remember him making a really "great" save so far this season. Some of the goals against him have been weird deflections off of our players and some are ones he definitely should've had. I'm not sure if it's a problem with coaching (a lot of Blues fans don't like Corey Hirsch) or his confidence or both. I think he'll be able to improve though (and he has to. His save percentage so far is simply not good enough).

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10-15-2011, 12:26 PM
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The guy has had no luck at all, which comes in handy when playing goalie.

That game against Nashville, if the puck didn't redirect signifigantly off of Nikitin's skate 5 feet in front of him, or Huskins(or Nichol, one of the two) clears the puck on the PK instead of putting it on a platter for Shea Weber, we win that game 2-1 at least. Not to mention the god like performance of Rinne. We would have scored 5 times on any other goalie.

Halak will turn it around.

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10-15-2011, 12:36 PM
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He hasn't been horrible, but he definitely needs to be better. 2 of the 3 games he's given up at least one questionable goal and hasn't really made any big stops in important situations. That being said our special teams have been awful, and while it's true the Blues have outshot their opponents so far, the two losses came at the hands of Rinne and Lehtonen. The latter played really well and the former stood on his freaking head, so credit goes to them. Maybe it will take a game or two of getting peppered with shots for Halak to start settling in, I don't know. So yeah...I wouldn't say he's the reason we're losing, but he does need to step it up soon.

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10-15-2011, 12:58 PM
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Halak needs to improve his awareness and concentration. He needs to improve his glove work. He needs to improve his rebound control. He needs to improve his positioning. He needs to become consistent in a better level of play.

The Blues also need a big, tough, physical, crease-clearing defenceman, who also has a well-rounded game (e.g. a #2 high-level two-way D-man, or, at LEAST, a big/tough/rough stay-at-home type, who can at least help out a little on offence, can clear the puck, carry it out of his own zone, and make good outlet passes).

Unless these 2 needs are addressed, The Blues will continue to be on the playoff bubble, instead of being the playoff lock 4th-5th position, that they "should be".

The help on defence will be the emergence of Cole, or given that that doesn't look imminent, a pre-deadline trade. The goaltending improvement is up to Halak. I don't see him being a consistently dominating goalie. I just hope he can be an average Western Conference starter (which, given The Blues' dominant play in the opponents zone and the neutral zone, should be enough to get The Blues into the playoffs). I think that Halak is, at best, a stopgap hole-plugger until Allen is ready to take over. I think that Allen has the stuff to be a standout NHL goalie. As it stands right now, Halak is not looking all that promising. He's got a LOT of things he needs to work on (and being small along with that, doesn't help).


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10-15-2011, 01:06 PM
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thanks guys, keep it coming and expectations vs SJ tonight?


The thing about Halak, is that he needs to stay busy to perform in order to achieve that groove. At least that was how it was in Montreal. He did really well with the challenge of proving himself against the Price, media, team etc... I wonder if he needs something like that again to spark him.

He gets remembered for that one great playoff year he had before coming to St. Louis, but the truth of the matter is that was the only time the rest of the fans took notice. He had been consistent good since he got called up from the minors in Montreal. That's why I feel he should be doing well now.

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10-15-2011, 01:17 PM
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I just posted a rather lengthy review of this season on BlueNoteZone, a link is in the sticky thread.

In summary he's been hung out to dry by the Blues poor play without the puck, but there are serious concerns with how he has performed and his limitations. His size is an issue as well as positioning at times. Some of the scoring chances haven't been very good ones and they've gotten past him when other goalies who are at the level the Blues expect Halak to be at would have made the save.

Still lots of time for Halak to improve and for the Blues as a whole to improve and give him more of a chance.

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10-15-2011, 01:17 PM
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his concentration and awareness used to be a strong point for him. Look as far as rebound control goes, there is a limit to any goalie can do, ie absorbing or directing the puck on a far shot is one thing, but the defense has to be able to clear it before the opposition can get it to aswell. Good play from a Dman can make a goalie good.

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10-15-2011, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesFan45 View Post
I just posted a rather lengthy review of this season on BlueNoteZone, a link is in the sticky thread.

In summary he's been hung out to dry by the Blues poor play without the puck, but there are serious concerns with how he has performed and his limitations. His size is an issue as well as positioning at times. Some of the scoring chances haven't been very good ones and they've gotten past him when other goalies who are at the level the Blues expect Halak to be at would have made the save.

Still lots of time for Halak to improve and for the Blues as a whole to improve and give him more of a chance.
I took a look at most of the goals, but I don't understand how you fault or partially fault him for screened or deflected shots. In those situations it is a matter of pure luck. One of the defected goals, you partially faulted him stating if he were taller he would his legs would have probably stop the puck from going in. What?! How is that reasonable?

A link for the others.

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10-15-2011, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesFan45 View Post
In summary he's been hung out to dry by the Blues poor play without the puck,
The team as a whole has no way at all left Halak out to dry. This guy isn't standing on his head stopping 51 of 54 shots a night. the team so far has limited the other teams to 24, 17, and 16 shots. ROFL just looking at those numbers I can't help but to laugh.

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10-15-2011, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Jzk View Post
The team as a whole has no way at all left Halak out to dry. This guy isn't standing on his head stopping 51 of 54 shots a night. the team so far has limited the other teams to 24, 17, and 16 shots. ROFL just looking at those numbers I can't help but to laugh.
Blocking shots and then doing absolutely nothing to clear them might as well just be a rebound at the point instead of the crease. At some point you have to control the puck in your zone and that's what they've failed to do on most of the scoring chances they give up. Bad passes, bad reads, or bad puck control. We have a ton of blue line turn overs in the offensive zone that lead to odd man rushes and people trying to make pinpoint passes that cough up odd man rushes as well. If those are the only shots getting through they're still going to be scoring chances that he has to over compensate for his d-men being out of position or completely behind the play.

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10-15-2011, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by SteenMachine View Post
Blocking shots and then doing absolutely nothing to clear them might as well just be a rebound at the point instead of the crease. At some point you have to control the puck in your zone and that's what they've failed to do on most of the scoring chances they give up. Bad passes, bad reads, or bad puck control. We have a ton of blue line turn overs in the offensive zone that lead to odd man rushes and people trying to make pinpoint passes that cough up odd man rushes as well. If those are the only shots getting through they're still going to be scoring chances that he has to over compensate for his d-men being out of position or completely behind the play.
The team might not be clearing the zone but only 2 or so goals that stand out should of been cleared from the crease. The team for the most part has kept the opposition to perimeter shots.

Every team won't be playing perfect and every team will be getting odd man rushes. To think they won't is just simply daft. I can't find puck possession stats but I'm willing to bet the Blues have controlled the puck and spent more time in the offensive zone than any team they've faced over the last few years. The team needs a goalie that doesn't fall asleep out there and it looks like Halak isn't that guy. Never mind his terrible positioning and lack of being aggressive on the angles.

edit: also last game against Dallas the team only had 8 blocked shots vs the 20 Dallas had. They also only had 4 give aways vs the 7 Dallas had.

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10-15-2011, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Jzk View Post
The team as a whole has no way at all left Halak out to dry. This guy isn't standing on his head stopping 51 of 54 shots a night. the team so far has limited the other teams to 24, 17, and 16 shots. ROFL just looking at those numbers I can't help but to laugh.
I can tell you haven't read my whole post on BNZ or you're picking a specific part to misconstrued what I've said.

That said, perhaps hung out to dry was bad phrasing since the most common interpretation is apparently how you took it.

My point is that thee Blues play without the puck has been bad. Leading to chances on Halak that could have been prevented. regardless of Halak's role in the end result.

Nichol wasn't able to tie up Smith on the first goalof the season.
Nikitin was in no mans land and screened Halak on Klein's goal.
Nikitin backed off Glencross across the blue line allowing him to get a clear view of the net.
Shattenkirk didn't cover a passing lane letting Daley's pass get through to Burish.
Polak was in front of Morrow when he put in the third Stars goal.

I agree, Halak simply must be better. However, the Blues have missed chances to help him out other than by possessing the puck. It's a two way street.

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10-15-2011, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesFan45 View Post
I can tell you haven't read my whole post on BNZ or you're picking a specific part to misconstrued what I've said.

That said, perhaps hung out to dry was bad phrasing since the most common interpretation is apparently how you took it.

My point is that thee Blues play without the puck has been bad. Leading to chances on Halak that could have been prevented. regardless of Halak's role in the end result.

Nichol wasn't able to tie up Smith on the first goalof the season.
Nikitin was in no mans land and screened Halak on Klein's goal.
Nikitin backed off Glencross across the blue line allowing him to get a clear view of the net.
Shattenkirk didn't cover a passing lane letting Daley's pass get through to Burish.
Polak was in front of Morrow when he put in the third Stars goal.

I agree, Halak simply must be better. However, the Blues have missed chances to help him out other than by possessing the puck. It's a two way street.
Yes I agree the team must make better low risk passes. And what do you want the team to do? Do you want them to posses the puck 100% of the time? Hate to break it to you but that's an impossibility. Halak has to get involved in the game some how. Their play with the puck hasn't been as nearly as bad as Halak's play in net.

Morrow whiffed on that shot and Halak didn't react fast enough to slide his pad over.
That Burish shot was enraging and should of been saved no matter where the turn over was. Halak wasn't square to the shot and a defender had the slot covered.
Clear shooting lanes is what a goalie needs to make a save no? If he gets beat that's all on him.
Again Klein was on an angle and Halak should of been positioned better.
Nikitin would of gotten an interference penalty if he tied Smith up as Halak bobbled that puck before he even got there and had time to cover but somehow missed the puck.

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10-15-2011, 05:53 PM
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Besides the weak goals he has let in I'll tell you what's killing us. It's the PK. You can't collapse down on top of Halak and expect him to be able to see the shots coming at him; he's too small. Also, on top of that, collapsing down on the PK basically let's the other team make passes at will to set up their shots. I know, I know, but our opponents have so few shots against us. It doesn't matter, most of them are quality chances. I get what we're trying to do. We're trying to clear his rebounds and block shots for him, but it's not working.

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10-15-2011, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesFan45 View Post
I can tell you haven't read my whole post on BNZ or you're picking a specific part to misconstrued what I've said.

That said, perhaps hung out to dry was bad phrasing since the most common interpretation is apparently how you took it.

My point is that thee Blues play without the puck has been bad. Leading to chances on Halak that could have been prevented. regardless of Halak's role in the end result.

Nichol wasn't able to tie up Smith on the first goalof the season.
Nikitin was in no mans land and screened Halak on Klein's goal.
Nikitin backed off Glencross across the blue line allowing him to get a clear view of the net.
Shattenkirk didn't cover a passing lane letting Daley's pass get through to Burish.
Polak was in front of Morrow when he put in the third Stars goal.

I agree, Halak simply must be better. However, the Blues have missed chances to help him out other than by possessing the puck. It's a two way street.
Misplays on the ice happen to every team. That's how goals/scoring chances happen. No need to point it out as some sort of excuse.

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10-15-2011, 07:14 PM
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Guys, we're three games in. Some of you need to back off the ledge and let the team settle in a bit. If Halak's play is still sub-par come the end of the month we may have a problem.

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10-15-2011, 11:57 PM
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Halak wasn't good last season either, but people were quick to defend him because he was supposed to be the new savior and the first "franchise" goaltender the Blues have had since CuJo.

Those saying that some of the chances against him could have been prevented, sure, they could have, but every team gives up chances no matter how good they are on defense and every team needs their goaltender to make a few saves sometimes. The first three games the Blues gave up a small number of chances considering how few shots their actually were on net, so you can't really fault them as a team for the goals against issues.

I'm honestly pretty worried about the goaltending situation based off last season and the start of this one, especially with the contract we handed Halak. Those saying that it's only been three games are ignoring the problems we had last season and if you are not extremely concerned about the goaltending right now, I'm not sure what to tell you. It may not yet be panic time, but things are not looking too good at this point.

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10-16-2011, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by oPlaiD View Post
Halak wasn't good last season either, but people were quick to defend him because he was supposed to be the new savior and the first "franchise" goaltender the Blues have had since CuJo.

Those saying that some of the chances against him could have been prevented, sure, they could have, but every team gives up chances no matter how good they are on defense and every team needs their goaltender to make a few saves sometimes. The first three games the Blues gave up a small number of chances considering how few shots their actually were on net, so you can't really fault them as a team for the goals against issues.

I'm honestly pretty worried about the goaltending situation based off last season and the start of this one, especially with the contract we handed Halak. Those saying that it's only been three games are ignoring the problems we had last season and if you are not extremely concerned about the goaltending right now, I'm not sure what to tell you. It may not yet be panic time, but things are not looking too good at this point.
You seem to conveniently ignore the first couple months when Halak was arguably one of the top 3 goalies in the league. He stole multiple games and had the stats to match.

He played consistently well in Montreal, not just one playoff streak. I think we'll see him come around.

If he can't play at a very high level all season, I'd rather he does it at the end of the year and play average at the beginning, than vice versa.

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10-16-2011, 12:47 PM
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I know what the problem is.

First, and foremost, I'm a Habs fan.

Halak was at his best when he was bombarded with shots. Those are the games where he stole the games. HE IS GREAT, when the other team is outplaying you by far margin. He loves games where he is very busy.

In Montreal when he getting less than 20 shots or around just 20 shots, typically we would lose that game. However, when he received 25+ shots per game, most if not all of those games would be won.

It would be nice to see some statistics about that actually. Anyway, thats the problem, and there is no way to fix it

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10-16-2011, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linix2012 View Post
I know what the problem is.

First, and foremost, I'm a Habs fan.

Halak was at his best when he was bombarded with shots. Those are the games where he stole the games. HE IS GREAT, when the other team is outplaying you by far margin. He loves games where he is very busy.

In Montreal when he getting less than 20 shots or around just 20 shots, typically we would lose that game. However, when he received 25+ shots per game, most if not all of those games would be won.

It would be nice to see some statistics about that actually. Anyway, thats the problem, and there is no way to fix it
Totally agree with this. Just warm him up A LOT before the game haha.

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10-16-2011, 01:12 PM
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He definitely seems to run on adrenaline when he's in that unbeatable mode... something just drives him to move on instinct and follow the puck incredibly well when he wants to win. Regardless even if we let more open lanes put shots on him, when he's actually in position, we still need that big body that can clear the crease or snag the puck before opposing forwards move in.

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10-16-2011, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linix2012 View Post
I know what the problem is.

First, and foremost, I'm a Habs fan.

Halak was at his best when he was bombarded with shots. Those are the games where he stole the games. HE IS GREAT, when the other team is outplaying you by far margin. He loves games where he is very busy.

In Montreal when he getting less than 20 shots or around just 20 shots, typically we would lose that game. However, when he received 25+ shots per game, most if not all of those games would be won.

It would be nice to see some statistics about that actually. Anyway, thats the problem, and there is no way to fix it
thats exactly what I saw too. he NEEDS the pressure to be great.

btw he isn`t the only goalie who can`t handle games with just too less shots at him

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10-16-2011, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linix2012 View Post
I know what the problem is.

First, and foremost, I'm a Habs fan.

Halak was at his best when he was bombarded with shots. Those are the games where he stole the games. HE IS GREAT, when the other team is outplaying you by far margin. He loves games where he is very busy.

In Montreal when he getting less than 20 shots or around just 20 shots, typically we would lose that game. However, when he received 25+ shots per game, most if not all of those games would be won.

It would be nice to see some statistics about that actually. Anyway, thats the problem, and there is no way to fix it
Yep and that is what sucks about our system. We have a system in place that doesn't give up a lot of shots, but a goalie who plays better when he is facing a lot of shots. How can you tell your defense to give up more shots though?

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