Forensics – Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott

by Michael Amato on February 8, 2012
Halak

 

Forensics – Jaroslav Halak and Brian ElliottMany teams have employed a two goalie system in the past, but the tandem of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott are taking it to a new level this season.  With most tandems there is always a clear number one, meaning that one guy is always going to get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to starting big games, as long as he doesn’t turn into Andre “Red Light” Racicot.

 

Let’s take a look at Frozen Pool to see Halak and Elliott’s similarities and differences, and exactly who has the edge in certain situations.

 

Category Wins

15

18

Name

 

 

 

 

Position

G

G

Team

STL

STL

Age

26

26

2011-2012 Salary

$3500000

$600000

2011-2012 Cap Hit

$3750000

$600000

Contract Years Left

2

0

NHL Years
Green=4th Yr Breakout

5

5

AvgGP Last 3Yrs
Red = Beware

45

47

Games

29

23

Wins

15

15

Avg Wins Last 3Yrs

10

9

Winning %

51.72%

65.22%

Losses

9

5

Avg Losses Last 3Yrs

7

4

OT Losses

5

2

Shutouts

5

5

Goals Against

57

38

Shots Against

732

608

Saves

675

570

Goals Against Avg

1.97

1.69

Avg GAA Last 3Yrs

2.80

2.71

Save Percentage

0.922

0.938

 

That’s about as even as it gets as you can see they both have 15 wins and five shutouts.  The only significant advantage goes to Elliott as he comes at a much cheaper price than Halak.  That may come to an end next season though after the stellar year he has been having.

 

Player                          AvgShots

HALAK, JAROSLAV  25.24

ELLIOTT, BRIAN       26.43

 

There average shots faced per game are also pretty even, with Elliott just facing one extra shot per contest.  Shots however can sometimes be a misleading stat; the degree of difficulty of the shots on goal can be much more telling.

 

Player                         AvgDist

HALAK, JAROSLAV 32.62ft

ELLIOTT, BRIAN       33.57ft

 

The average shot distance that Halak faces is slightly more challenging then Elliott’s as he is facing rubber from nearly a foot closer on average.  In fact among goalies that have appeared in at least 20 games, only Jonas Hiller and Ray Emery are facing shots on average from a closer distance than Halak.

 

Here is how they stack up on shots faced from 1-15ft which is the greatest degree of difficulty.

 

Name                           Shots Goals Save%

HALAK,JAROSLAV   164    23    0.860

ELLIOTT,BRIAN         135    21    0.844

 

Now here are their numbers from 30-45ft.  The ones that goalies have to have.

 

Name                                 Shots Goals Save%

HALAK,JAROSLAV         223    11    0.951

ELLIOTT,BRIAN               181     4     0.978

 

It’s interesting, as you can see Halak fairs much better than Elliott on the more challenging shots, but Elliott ranks better on the shots that goalies typically have to save.  Elliott actually ranks number one in the NHL in save percentage on shots from 30-45ft.

 

Of the two goalies Elliott has been the most consistent throughout the season.  So far he has recorded a shutout in every month of the campaign, not including February, and he has also not lost more than two games in a row.  He also had a stretch where he won 12 of 14 starts from late October to mid December.

 

Halak on the other hand has been hot more recently and has really benefitted since Ken Hitchcock took over.  He had just one victory in seven starts prior to that, and then after the coaching change he posted five shutouts and seven straight victories in the month of January.  Three of Halak’s five shutouts have been 1-0 scores, which proves he can handle the pressure in tight games.

 

It is hard to go wrong at the moment with either Halak or Elliott, whether you are a poolie or a St. Louis fan.  This great goaltending tandem has the Blues poised to earn their first playoff birth since 2008-09.