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Quick turnaround should help Halak

Image (1) Halak4-thumb-200x300-10609.jpg for post 1341

As we gear up in the final minutes before tonight’s game between the Penguins and Canadiens, Jaroslav Halak’s incredible performance against the Capitals is still fresh in all of our minds.With two series in the first round going to a Game 7, there’s been a fast turnaround to the next round as the Habs will be playing just two days after eliminating the Capitals.

It seems that the quick transition would be good for Halak, as there’s not exactly an abnormal delay between games for him. Goaltenders get into zones and there’s no doubting that Halak found himself in one this past week, With just one day off between games, he gets a rest without the pressure of trying to stay focused across a number of days; he just keeps on keeping on with what’s been working, taking the ice once again with his team on his back.

Of course, the Penguins are expecting for Halak to crack at some point. After all, this level of play is unsustainable Penguins goaltender coach Gilles Meloche tells Chris Stevenson:

“Could be those three games, could be longer,” Meloche told the Post-Gazette. “I don’t believe you can keep that up for a period of 10, 15, 20 games -- not if you keep giving up the kind of chances they gave up (against Washington).”

You have to wonder if motivation will be a factor for Halak. While the motivation to win will always be there, this is a goaltender who was basically laughed at by the Capitals (and the hockey community) after games 2 and 3. He turned the series into a personal assault on Ovechkin and this Capitals, playing with an incredible heavy chip on his shoulder as he set out to prove everyone wrong.

Well, he’s done that much. Now he has to find a way to keep at the level he was at just days later.