As we've pointed out before, the Blues have a hard time stopping losing streaks at one. Today continued that trend. Tomorrow doesn't look so good either. Game after that ain't so great neither.
But enough of that. As I drove home tonight I thought about our recent Blues history and realized that it was about this time every year where I start to get frustrated with the goaltending. Chris Mason and his patented Soft Goal of the Game (TM). Manny Legace and his Emo Manny/Too Happy Manny post-game press conferences (That little quote about how "The fans were chanting my name and then I let in a bad goal. Sorry fans." didn't go over that well, either). Patrick Lalime and his Patrick Lalimiest play. Chris Osgood and his "Maybe that dude IS a Red Wings mole" style of play.
But despite giving up three goals tonight and four against San Jose and a bad goal against the Sharks and one of the worst goals agaisnt ever up in Detroit, I'm still a Halak guy. The return of Roman Polak and Alex Pietrangelo to the lineup means that he's got a real NHL defense corps in front of him again and it's going to get better, but he's right in every one of these games. The Blues were outshot by a wide margin the vast majority of the game and the chances he faced were really good and Stop Sign turned all that away.
Goals that would have piled up against Weak Sauce Mason and Emo Manny and Toilet Bowl Lalime and Chris Osgrumpy are stopped by Halak. He sees more, he stops more. Bad goals don't faze him. Good goals don't freak him out. He is our guy and he's only going to get better.
When this team finally gets it's majority (silent) and big posketed investor in line and GM Doug Armstrong is allowed to make a better imprint on it and the youngsters start to come into their own, people are going to talk about those things being the turning point to this team going from "good on paper" to good on the ice. But those people will be wrong. The turning point was last summer when the front office gave up a good young guy in Lars Eller and took a chance on Halak.
So, go ahead and complain in the comments about the lack of talent or lack of effort or lack of good calls for our team tonight in the comments. I get it - all of those things are true. But sometimes weaker, younger, more injured teams lose to better, more talented teams with $10 million/year goalies in net. That happens because whe you're the Canucks, "good on paper" has turned the corner to good on the ice.
Me? I'm tired of bitching for today. I'm just going to be happy that we finally have a goalie that isn't the problem.