Monday, February 04, 2008

Disappointing News for Halak

Well, I've made no secret of the fact that I like Jaroslav Halak as a prospect for the Habs with several articles on him here (both before the season started and during the season).

As such a fervent supporter, I take the latest news of his demotion as a massive disappointment. Not because I don't like Huet (I do, very much) and not because I don't like Price (I think he's an excellent prospect, but mainly because I can't see how the coaches or management can't figure out a way to manage more than 2 goalies.

What stings for Halak is that there is probably nothing more he can really do to move ahead of Price in the minds of Canadiens management. Outplay Price in the AHL regular season (check), outplay Price at the NHL level (check).

He couldn't win the Calder Cup as he was deemed so good that his NHL club and then his National team called him to the job – he never lost that Hamilton job. He couldn't win the NHL post at the beginning of the season because management took Price's development issues much more seriously. He couldn't win a start during this call-up because Huet played so darn well the whole time, and Carbonneau's basis for every strategy he has ever devised is "If it ain't broke don't fix it".

Now I could be wrong here. Maybe the management want to get Halak a few games and can't see a way to do that in the NHL for a little while. It's possible that all these decisions have been made with halak's best interest in mind.

I should even read my own piece so i can try and focus on the positive rather tha the negative. I should have a headline about Price turning his game around, getting a shutout and earning a call back to the NHL.

I'm sure my disappointment will pass. After all, the decision to play Huet has been a boon for the Canadiens, and I am very happy that they rode momentum for so many points over the last months. But for now, I feel sorry for the Slovak star. I hope he can find the maturity he did before when he gets his chance to play and show us why he is a top prospect once again.

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