Jaroslav Halak has had his fun as a member of the New York Rangers picking up a couple of wins. That would have been acceptable when the Rangers were in the depths of a rebuild. He’s got a 2-6-1 record with a 3.04 goals-against average and a .890 save percentage. He’s struggled at points during this season. He’s admittedly gotten better as the year has progressed but the question has become is it enough?
Performances have gotten better but the Slovakian shot-stopper is still not truly earning the confidence of Gerard Gallant and the folks behind the bench. His lackluster performances cannot continue if the Rangers are serious about going to capture the Stanley Cup. There are going to have to be games where the Rangers turn to their backup and want a chance of winning and Halak has struggled to provide that.
It must be said that getting some help at the backup position does not mean explicitly looking outside of the options the Rangers already have. If Halak can continue to turn his results around and get to be even a league-average backup, it’ll look a lot better for the Rangers moving forward. Halak has proven during his long NHL career that he is capable. He needs to show it.
If Halak isn’t the answer, there are always options down in Hartford that could be tried and tested. It’s not an ideal situation but eventually, you’ll find a combination that works. Waivers could also be an option so trading for a new backup may not be the only way to fix this if it doesn’t correct itself. Hopefully, for Halak, he can continue to build on his recent success and become a solid backup in the blue of New York.