Rangers Report Cards: Jaroslav Halak: B (B)
Halak wasn’t exactly rocking the runway right out of the gate. It wasn’t the slow start where you sip coffee while your computer boots up. Nope, it was more like watching a tortoise at a sprinting contest. Unlike Shesterkin, he didn’t exactly make the most epic comeback. That said, when on his game, he showed why he was once a trusted starter. Yet when Halak was off, it was like watching a comedy of errors.
Halak got his skates on for the Rangers 25 times this season, with a record of 10-9-5. The guy started off as if he’d set his alarm on “snooze” mode, but guess what? Eventually, he found his groove and started dishing out saves like hot pancakes.
Halak finished with a 2.72 Goals Against Average, which is like trying to get your morning toast to the right level of crispiness. He had a .903 save% which is pretty, considering he’s staring down rockets flying at him. When things got spicy in the high-danger zone, Halak was like a goalie ninja. Among those goalies who stepped into the high-danger danger zone at least ten times, he finished 12th with a .789 save percentage.
That said, Halak’s +2.9 Goals Saved Above Expected performance on the penalty kill helped his overall +1.1 Goals Saved Above Expected on the season. He struggled at even strength with a -0.6 Goals Saved Above Expected.
Let’s cut him some slack, though, ’cause being a backup goalie is like being the substitute teacher – you’re either the hero or you’re just trying to keep things from going off the rails. For a 38-year-old backup, he did his job and stayed healthy, giving Shestekrin enough breathers. He outplayed his $1.5 million cap hit, so the cap-compliant Blueshirts couldn’t resign him in free agency.