Jaroslav Halak hasn't played a single regular-season game for the Bluenote yet, but that doesn't diminish his arrival as the goalie of the future. Halak's regular-season record isn't gaudy, but oh, his playoff run — ooh, that was something. He blocked 181 of 184 shots in that series against the Washington Capitals "juggernaut" and backstopped an overachieving Canadiens squad to a second consecutive Game 7 victory over defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Now, we know what you're thinking: Didn't the Canadiens ride goalie Jose Theodore through the playoffs a few years back, and maybe piggyback on Cristobal Huet the same way a year or two later — and where are those guys now? The answers to those questions are "yes" and "but wait." Halak represents more than stats; he's a bold first step by new general manager Doug Armstrong, a message to fans that we're not gonna try to win by signing castoffs and backups for the most important position on the ice. Halak's trade to the Blues was a bombshell of the best sort — it devastated Montreal fans, and it energized St. Louis fans. In an ideal sports world, that's how all trades would work, and this time (for the first time in a long time for Blues fans), the Jaroslav Halak bomb was facing the right way when it went off. Now let's hope that's the last time "Jaroslav Halak" and "bomb" are used in a sentence for the next twelve years and three Stanley Cups.
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