For the fifth time in the past seven games, the Bruins are going to turn to Jaroslav Halak in net.
Bruce Cassidy announced Friday that the Black and Gold will start Halak for Saturday’s primetime matchup against the top team in the NHL — points-wise — in the Predators, with the B’s netminder coming off of a 42-save performance on Tuesday against the Hurricanes.
While Boston opened the season with a plan in place for both Halak and Tuukka Rask to share reps between the pipes, Halak has seized most of the opportunities placed in front of him — posting a 4-0-2 record and a .947 save percentage through seven games played.
Meanwhile, Rask has been mired in another slow start to open an NHL campaign, going 3-3-0 through six games with a 3.15 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage.
The numbers clearly swing in favor of giving Halak some extended looks as Boston’s top netminder, but Cassidy noted that Friday’s news is more of a recognition of Halak’s dominant start than an indictment of what Rask has offered.
"I think once we went away from the original script, then you've got to reset it a little bit,” Cassidy said. “If someone were to ask, usually I'd say that script changes for two reasons — an injury or performance. In this case, we believe that Jaro's performance has earned the right to have more starts.
"It's more about his performance than Tuukka’s, to be honest with you. He's just played really well. He's got points every time he's in the net. So you've got to ride the hot hand. I think Tuukka's game could be better, but it's still solid. It's just that Jaro has been better right now. “