Slovak goaltender Jaroslav Halak stopped as many as 32 shots in a triumph for Vancouver Canucks against the NHL-leading Colorado Avalanche 3-1 on Wednesday night.
The 36-year-old, who played the first game at the end of his time in Vancouver, showed complete satisfaction with his performance. Moreover, the utter joy of teammates for him, was evident in the receiving line of hugs Halak received at the end of the triumph.
“Now that trade deadline is over, I don’t have to focus on anything else,” Halak told reporters after his first win since January 31. “I’m here, and I just want to help the team because we are in a playoff push and we need to be playing playoff hockey from now on if we want to make it.”
He added: “I didn’t know what was going to happen, honestly. Am I going to be moved or am I going to remain a Canuck. Now that it’s done, I can focus on hockey and being here and try to do my best whenever I get a chance.”
“So good that Halak could play the way he did today” – Miller
Reacting to the Bratislava born Halak’s performance, Canucks’ left winger and alternate captain J.T. Miller expressed his happiness and leapt a special shower of praises.
“It’s been (crappy), you know,” teammate J.T. Miller said of what Halak has endured the last couple of months. “We feel so good that he could play the way he did today. I mean, he was an absolute rock. He was on. You could just tell this morning. He had that aura about him that he was going to be a difference-maker today. And he played awesome.”