From now on and through the rest of the playoffs, I’ll be dedicating each of my “Hockey Quotes of the Week” to players who have won the Stanley Cup in the past or are in the Stanley Cup playoffs now.

For most of this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak has let his game do the talking. Coming into the Eastern Conference finals against the Philadelphia Flyers, the young rookie goalkeeper has posted numbers that are a little hard to argue with:

14 games started, 2.63GAA,.927Sv%

But after Sunday night’s 6-0 opening debacle against the Flyers, Halak, along with the rest of the Canadians, had some explaining to do. However, the good news is that Halak is as calm and collected in front of the media as he is online. He ask any hockey player and he’ll tell you this is what he wants: a guy between the pipes who doesn’t get exhausted and doesn’t shake after a loss. When asked to reflect on the game, this is what Halak had to say (and our Hockey Quote of the Week from Hockey Chump):

“We’re dealing with this in the first and second series: Putting the big guys in front of me. It’s the playoffs. They want to win the game as much as we do. We’ve got to do a better job boxing the guys and we’ll be OK. I need to do a better job.” work (see the album) too”.

So it looks like the Canadians are coming in with a game plan and that’s to make sure Halak can see the puck (I guess that makes sense). However, what is interesting is that Halak references the other series in his quote and mentions that this series is no different from the previous two. Personally, I disagree. The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins are teams built around speed and finesse. The Flyers also have speed, but what they lack in finesse (especially with the loss of Jeff Carter) they have made up for in relentless, punishing play. They’re a different animal than the Caps and Penguins, and they’re not going to shy away from the front of the net as easily as the other two teams.

This should be an interesting series and if only for the fans, I hope the Canadians win. But Mr. Halak, you have a long battle ahead of you, one that I anticipate will involve a lot of Carcillo, Hartnell and Asham in his face. Prepare to get dirty.

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