BOSTON — Jaroslav Halak received much some-deserved credit from Bruce Cassidy for playing so strong during last year’s regular season that it provided Tuukka Rask with some essential rest ahead of the Bruins’ 2018 Stanley Cup Final run.
Fast forward to the 2019-20 season, the Boston goalie again is receiving plenty of praise for his strong play, even having his head coach say he feels he as two No. 1 goalies no matter who plays each night.
And that trend continued Tuesday night at TD Garden when Halak stopped all 24 shots in the B’s 2-0 shutout victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. The netminder stood on his head and made some timely saves to keep his team in a fast-paced, back-and-forth goalie battle.
This also was Halak’s 500th career game.
“Might as well get it with a shutout, right? Good for him,” Cassidy said after the game. “He battles hard in there. In my opinion, he’s a No. 1 goalie in this league. he’s proven that. Plays great for us, gives a chance to win every night. So for us, a coach, the players out there knowing it doesn’t matter who goes in the net that you’re going to get quality goaltending … I think the guys are really happy for Jaro. A guy that battles in practice for the guys, takes those extra shots when need be. I thought he was real good tonight.”
As for Halak, he’s just happy to be a part of this special Bruins squad.
“I think it’s a really good accomplishment for any goalie,” he said. “… I’m just glad that I’m part of this group. It’s a special group. We are so close and we keep proving it on the ice. We stick to the game plan for 60 minutes, tonight we did.”
Here are some other notes from Tuesday’s Bruins-Hurricanes game:
— The game remained scoreless for just over 55 minutes with each team failing to find twine despite some prime chances. But that changed when Charlie Coyle redirected a Brad Marchand shot and David Krejci redirecting a blast from Charlie Coyle in 1:08.
And Coyle said his team always has the confidence that they will win the game whether the B’s are down or tied.
“To have that confidence like we’re going to win this, you can just feel it,” he said. “We just play with that and stick with that process.”
— This was the first time in 16 games in which David Pastrnak did not record a point.
“I think he got a little frustrated at times but so did (Carolina’s) players,” Cassidy said. “I just thought it was a tight-checking game. Puck was bouncing for whatever reason … didn’t look like it was going to be one of those high-scoring games. But he stuck with it. … He’s not going to score every game so you’re going to need guys to step up. … It was only going to take a few tonight and we ended up getting them.”
— Halak and Rask have been absolutely unstoppable between the pipes. Especially since Nov. 15. Check out this crazy stat from 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Ty Anderson:
Since Nov. 15:
Tuukka Rask: 6-0-0, .943.
Jaro Halak: 2-0-1, .954.
Combined 8-0-1 with a .947.
— Ty Anderson (@_TyAnderson) December 4, 2019
— The win gave Boston its eighth straight and now have a 12-game point streak.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images