The 2016-17 season was a roller coaster season for Jaroslav Halak, to say the least. This season saw the 31-year-old goaltender go from being the New York Islanders everyday starter, to playing in the AHL and then back to the Islanders where he finished the remainder of the season.
Jaroslav Halak was given the starting position in net for the New York Islanders fresh off an impressive performance at the World Cup of Hockey for Team Europe. Thomas Greiss was to serve as his backup along with Jean-Francois Berube as the third goalie on the roster.
The first quarter of the NHL season wasn’t kind to the Islander netminder who posted a 6-8-5 record with a 3.23 GAA. It looks bad, I know and it is. But to be fair, the team in front of Halak didn’t really help his case. They were having trouble finding the back of the net and blowing leads late.
Nonetheless, it doesn’t excuse the poor play on Halak’s side. A lot more is expected from the everyday starting goaltender.
New York Islanders
Demotion to the AHL
Poor play fueled by some questionable moves by the GM resulted in Halak being sent down to the AHL. Which ties back to the three-headed monster that haunted the Isles all throughout the season. Garth Snow decided to waive Halak on December 30th leaving Berube to backup Greiss.
Jaro Halak was lights out for the Bridgeport Soundtigers, but then again this doesn’t come as a surprise. As a proven NHL goaltender, he is expected to dominate the AHL. And that he did, by putting up a 17-7-3 record.
Berube eventually proved unreliable as a backup. And with the regular season winding down, the Isles were in a tight race for a playoff spot with a very little margin for error. This led to Jaro Halak getting the call up.
In his last seven games, Halak looked to have found his game going 6-1-0. The type of play we’d come to expect from Jaro in the last couple seasons.
He backstopped the Islanders to a 6 game winning streak but it was too little too late for the blue and orange who fell just one point short of the postseason.
The 2016-17 NHL season was a shortened one for the veteran goaltender. His shaky start may have cost him a B grade but he came back strong and gave the Islanders a real shot at making playoffs despite their odds.
Final Grade: C+