Jaroslav Halak's Slump Won't Last (November-April are better)

Don’t give up on Jaroslav just yet. Many fans of the Islanders have assumed that his performance to open the season was a grim tale of what is to come. The default mode of Islanders’ fans is to be pessimistic. By definition, the loyal fan base seems to expect the worst.

But let’s cool it on writing Jaroslav Halak off as a bust. He has a track record that supports keeping the faith in #41.

Thanks to the organized folks at HockeyReference, it's easy to see the trend that Halak seems to follow on a yearly basis. The splits are remarkable and quite telling if analyzed. Not surprisingly to Islanders fans that are getting know Jaro, his worst month in relation to GAA is October at 2.63. He also averages a .901 SV% throughout October which is staggeringly lower than any other month during the NHL season. His next lowest would be .915 for the month of November.

This season as of 11/7/14, Halak's numbers dipped a bit below his averages but support the notion that improvement is coming. His numbers stand with a GAA of 3.24 and a .898 SV%.

October is historically tough for him and the numbers are supportive of him getting stronger as the season goes on.  As Halak consistently gets starts, his numbers get better. The cause of this October slump is not obvious but it is clear that the panic is something that is exaggerated.  

It could be as simple as Halak needing some time to shake off the rust from the offseason or it could be a mental block at this point of his career.

But all Halak has proved is that the slump does not last.

As the calendar turned to November, we saw Jaroslav Halak put in his best effort to date in Anaheim saving 32 of 34 shots and gathering the win against the class of the Western Conference on the road. Judging by his stats, this is a sign of things to come as long as he is in the crease.

He looks to improve on his numbers that are a bit lower than the norm. However, Isles' fans should take solace in the quiet confidence that Halak exudes, win or lose.

As each month passes, he seems to get better, and stays consistent from November to March. With the way the Islanders are scoring goals at a high rate, they just need Halak to play fairly consistent with his performance on a nightly basis. If his career trends from November-April continue, he will be lights out when the Isles need him most.

Numbers don’t lie and his career has provided a substantial amount of games to utilize as a sample size.

If Halak follows these trends closely, the Islanders will be getting him at his best in April. He seems to get increasingly hot rocking a 1.82 GAA and a .940 SV% throughout the month. If he has opportunity to play through May and June, hopefully that SV % goes up.

If the Islanders can make it to the playoffs, they may be able to be carried through on the back of Halak. We have seen Stanley Cup runs be supported with a hot goaltender and the Isles/Halak may be brewing a perfect storm.

Stay patient Isles fans, Jaroslav Halak will be fine and as advertised when we need him most. Keep the faith.

-Steve Giangaspro