Jaroslav Halak is off to his best start in his career wins-wise. He, like the Blues, has never started a year 4-0-0. He's also just tied Craig Johnson for third all-time for wins at home, and he's passed Glenn Hall for most Blues' shutouts. His GAA is just 1.75 and his save percentage is an impressive .934. Regardless of how the Blues' defense has looked - and occasionally defensive pressure has left the building - he's stood tall in net, just oozing confidence.
You can tell in his body language and posture that his off-season workout routine that dropped 14 pounds from his already wiry frame worked. He's not tentative at all - the groin injuries of last season aren't a cloud over him anymore. They're not even a concern.
As a matter of fact, the Blues seem to have so much confidence in Halak (as they should) and his groin that this tweet from the Post-Dispatch's Jeremy Rutherford popped up:
So, the Blues are so confident in Halak that they're comfortable shopping Brian Elliott. Interesting. While at first glance that makes perfect sense with Jake Allen in the wings, let's look at a few points here:
- Groin injuries don't just pop up and then never happen again. You hurt your groin, you're more likely to tweak it again.
- Jake Allen's getting more playing time in the AHL than he would in St. Louis, especially with Halak cruising like he is. Allen would basically have to wait for Halak's groin to go out to get a good long stretch of play, and in that case, who's your backup?
- The backup is Jordan Binnington, who is currently with the ECHL's Kalamazoo Wings. If you feel confident enough in having Allen as your starter with Binnington as your backup during a vital stretch of the season (which is usually when groin injuries happen in goalies due to increased intensity), raise your hand.
- The Blues don't really *need* anything right now other than cap space and a few draft picks. Would trading security away in the form of Elliott make sense for a few picks and some breathing room?
Obviously I'm not on the "Ditch Elliott" wagon. There's too much "what if" room that could go down, and that doesn't even take into consideration that this is a contract year for Halak. If he doesn't return to the Blues next year, the team has a tandem of Allen and Binnington, both of whom could use some more experience.