The Boston Bruins will be very familiar with the man in the crease on the other side of TD Garden tonight. Jaroslav Halak, who spent the previous three seasons in Boston, gets the starting nod for the Vancouver Canucks tonight against the Bruins.
The 36-year-old veteran net minder signed a one-year, $3 million contract this offseason with the Canucks to back up Thatcher Demko.
But things haven’t been pretty for Halak this season. Although in fairness, nothing has been pretty in Vancouver.
In five games played this season, Halak is still looking for his first win. He brings a 0-3-1 record into Boston tonight, along with a 2.79 GAA and a .903 SV%.
Halak had a fairly successful tenure in his time with the Bruins
In three seasons with Boston, Halak played a crucial role in the Bruins, backing up Tuukka Rask. He made 83 starts in his time with the Bruins, posting a 49-23-14 record in a total of 90 games. He finished those three season with a 2.40 GAA and a .918 SV%.
He was most notably known for having to take over in the crease during the 2019-20 playoffs. Rask had left the Toronto bubble for personal reasons and Halak was tasked with keeping the Bruins alive in the postseason. In nine games played, the Slovakian went 4-5-0 with a 2.76 GAA and a .902 SV%. The Bruins lost in the second round of the playoffs that season to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
That same season, he and Rask were awarded the Williams M. Jennings Trophy as best goaltending tandem in the NHL. That season, Halak finished with a record of 18-6-6 while adding a 2.39 GAA , .919 SV% and three shutouts.
In some ways, Halak revived his career in Boston. He was best known before for his run in the 2010 playoffs with the Montreal Canadiens, outplaying Carey Price and brining the No. 8 seed Canadiens on a Cinderalla-sort of run to the conference finals. He then bounced around to St. Louis then to Washington then to the Islanders before landing in Boston. At 36 years old, the days of being a starter are likely behind him, but he proved he could be a top-tier backup while he was in Boston.
Halak and the Canucks are looking to snap a three-game losing streak tonight against the Bruins. Vancouver owns a 6-13-2 record, the third-worst record in the league, and sit in the bottom of the Pacific division.