Goaltenders are creatures of habit. It’s always been that way. Jaroslav Halak is no different. When Halak was thrown into the fire as the Boston Bruins starting goalie, via Tuukka Rask’s opt out, his routine changed. It changed even more when he took the ice for his first playoff start with Bruins in Game 3 against the Carolina Hurricanes. There were no fans in the Toronto bubble, and that took Halak a little getting used to.
“I think the weirdest part was when you get to the warm-ups,” Halak said Thursday. “You’re not seeing any fans in the stands, standing by the glass. That was the weirdest thing.”
There was one advantage to this in Halak’s mind. With no fans, communication was rather easy.
“I think once the game started, I don’t think – I think it mattered, but at the same time, it was kind of nice not having people there because actually you could talk to your D or your forwards and they would hear pretty much everything that I’ve seen,” Jaroslav Halak continued. “That’s why sometimes we made some easy breakouts and I think that was the difference. That was the biggest difference. But other than that, I think you could hardly notice that noise and stuff.”
Where there are pros, there are usually cons. That was this case here as well. Halak and the Bruins are used to a raucous cheering them on and providing energy at TD Garden. They didn’t have that in August.
“We sometimes, that energy that you get from fans and they’re pushing you forward when you’re down by a goal or two. I think that was the hard part for us, or for any team. So hopefully next season, there will be fans in the stands and things will be somewhat normal.”