Jaroslav Halak will take the net tonight against the Blackhawks. Now I know Brad Lee just got done making the case that Ken Hitchcock has a harder decision to make regarding who starts in the playoffs because Brian Elliott has been so awesome lately. But to me, Halak is the monster I want to lead a playoff run, solely based on his performance in clutch games.
What we already know: Halak is one of the best goalies in the NHL. He has 25 wins, a 1.90 GAA, a .927 save percentage and six shutouts. He's ice cold under pressure
And his name is Jaroslav.
What we know about the premier goalie in the NHL right now: Henrik Lundqvist plays for the best team in the Eastern Conference, the New York Rangers. He has 36 wins, a 1.93 GAA, a .932 save percentage, eight shutouts and the most dreamy blue eyes and European stylings ever. His name is Henrik, but people call him Hank. Hank is awesome. The nickname was reportedly because his teammates likened it to the short for Henry.
Now, it's time for the best goalie in the West to have an equally awesome, Americanized nickname. In my last column for the print version of this rag, I called for suggestions. And I immediately got the perfect one from Game Time's evil emperor himself, Gallagher.
Jerry Halak. Perfection.
As Gallagher said, "No idea why that makes me laugh" - but it does. Hank, the best goalie in the East, and Jerry, the best goalie in the West. From Sweden and Slovakia.
Jerrys are awesome - that's a true fact. There's Jerry Lewis, who was cool enough to hang out with Dean Martin and put on a telethon for like 40 years straight to save a bunch of kids' lives. Jerry Lewis is loved by the French -- Jerry Halak is loved by French-Canadians.
There's Jerry Seinfeld, who is funny as shit (and imagine Jerry Halak in a puffy shirt, stopping pucks). Jerry Rice, the greatest receiver to ever play football, ever, period. Jerry Garcia, who played a mean guitar and smoked a lot of weed. And how awesome would it be to get the entire Scottrade Center chanting, Springer-style: Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry!
Ladies and gentlemen, if Henrik can be Hank, I would like to introduce you to Jerry Halak.