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A real homeboy

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL – There really is no place like home for Jaroslav Halak.

He may hail from halfway across the globe in Slovakia, but the Bell Centre obviously suits Halak just fine.

On quite the roll to start the season, the Habs’ goalie has been unbeatable on home ice, which is nothing new to Halak. Thanks to his 24-6-1 career mark at home, including a 5-0 record so far this season, Halak boasts an impressive .790 winning percentage at the corner of de La Montagne and avenue-des-Canadiens-de-Montreal.

“I don’t know what it is, really,” shrugged Halak. “This season the guys score more goals at home, so that can only help, I guess.”

Now 5-2-0 on the season, Halak’s latest victory didn’t come easily. With the pesky Leafs fighting back from a 4-2 hole late in the third period to force overtime, Halak had to battle his way through a shootout to earn the victory. With Michael Cammalleri and Scott Gomez each scoring on their attempts, Halak closed the door, stoning both Lee Stempniak and Tomas Kaberle to seal the win.

“For sure it’s a lot easier for a goalie when we score on our first shootout chance,” admitted Halak. “I think that gives the whole team a boost. I think it was key to get that early edge. Shootouts can get pretty stressful so it’s always nice to win a quick one like that.”

Next up for the Habs is a visit from the Thrashers on Tuesday night. While Jacques Martin has yet to confirm who will be in the crease, don’t expect Halak to lose any sleep over who eventually gets the nod.

“Ask any goalie and they’ll tell you they just want to play,” said Halak. “Carey did a good job keeping us in the game in Chicago and he faced a lot of shots. No matter who plays on Tuesday, we just have to get as many wins and points as we can right now. I’m not too worried about. It’s the coach’s decision and I know we’ll both be ready either way.”

Manny Almela is a writer for

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