Jaroslav Halak said he's trying to look at Saturday's visit from the Blues, the team that dumped him at the trade deadline during an above-average season last March, as just another game.
Even Halak knows it's a stretch to buy that.
"It's something that happens to just about everyone in this game, getting traded," Halak said after his franchise record-setting 11th straight win Thursday night, a 2-1 victory over the Senators in Ottawa. "I had a great time in St. Louis, I spent 31/2 years there. Now I'm here and I'm happy to be here. I'm happy it worked out."
Considering what's doing with the Blues -- who have lost two straight, one with newly signed Martin Brodeur in net -- perhaps Halak got the better end of the flurry of moves St. Louis made last March.
Halak posted a .917 save percentage and 24-9-4 record for the Blues last season before general manager Doug Armstrong decided his team needed an upgrade in goal to make a playoff run. After he sent Halak to the Sabres in a package for Ryan Miller, Buffalo flipped Halak to the Capitals a week later on the eve of the deadline.
Halak and the Caps missed the postseason, Miller and the Blues lost a six-game series against the Blackhawks and Miller bolted for the Canucks in free agency.
St. Louis went with veteran Brian Elliott and second-year player Jake Allen to start the season, and things were going well until Elliott suffered a lower-body injury that could keep him out for a couple of months.
Enter Brodeur, who had been hanging around waiting for an offer after his Hall of Fame stint with the Devils ended.
Allen will get the start on Saturday, so Islanders fans will not get a chance to break out their "Marty" chant.
Meanwhile, Halak went to the Islanders in May, signed a four-year deal in June, started slowly in October and hasn't lost since Nov. 1 in San Jose, allowing only 14 goals during his 11-game run.
"It's nice, but I'm not here to chase records," he said. "I just want to help the guys win games and have fun. [The record] was nice, but that game's in the past. We have a big one [Saturday].''
For the Islanders and for Halak, who can't hide the fact that he's itching to show the Blues they dumped the wrong man.
Notes & quotes: Travis Hamonic (upper body) went on injured reserve and Jack Capuano said neither Hamonic nor Johnny Boychuk, who has been on IR since Nov. 27, will "be playing for a while here." The Islanders called up Ryan Pulock and the 20-year-old could make his NHL debut on Saturday.