After a season ending injury New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak is attempting to regain his starting position for the 2016-2017 season. Here’s what you can expect from him.
Jaroslav Halak’s first year with the New York Islanders was tremendous. He won 38 games and played very well for the Islanders in the playoffs as well. Unfortunately for Jaro he seemed to take a step back last year.
There’s no question injuries held him back. In just 36 games he had an 18-13-4 record. Which was a big step back from his previous mark of 38-17-4 just a year earlier.
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Although his record went down his other stats got better, for instance SV% and GAA. His SV% went from .914 to .919 and GAA from 2.43 to 2.30. So why did it seem like Halak was having a bad year?
It has to be the surprising emergence of Thomas Greiss. Greiss had a career year as a backup to Halak. He was really more of a 1b than a number 2 goalie and that is part of the reason why the Islanders did so well.
Then Greiss stands on his head in the playoffs while Jaro is out with injury and he becomes the new fan favorite.
Not so fast, Halak will be the starter again when the season comes. He has already been named the starter for Team Europe ahead of Thomas Greiss. With all due respect to Greiss that is the right call for both Team Europe and the Islanders
Halak is the better goalie of the two. His track record proves that while Greiss is coming off the best year of his life, to expect him to repeat will be too much.
That shouldn’t be taken as a knock on Greiss. He’s a very valuable piece to this Islanders team, if something happens to Halak you need Greiss, and as the Isles did last year it allows you to ride the hot hand and also keep both guys fresh.
Halak is the starter on opening night. That’s how it should go.
45 games 28-14-3 .918 SV% 2.34 GAA
Halak will play more games this year because he won’t be injured, although he won’t have to play 59 games like he did two years ago. It’ll be somewhere in between so 45 is a safe bet.
As for his stat prediction, his GAA will slightly increase and his SV% will slightly decrease. I don’t expect much of a change. At this point in his career, when healthy we know what he can do.
These numbers are good enough to be a starter in the NHL. He isn’t an elite goalie but he is far from the worst as well. The Isles and Jaro are a good fit for each other.