The St. Louis Blues goaltending is once again the team’s Achilles’ heel
In what’s become a reoccurring theme over the years, it appears once again goaltending could lead to the downfall of the St. Louis Blues.
For whatever reason, much like the Philadelphia Flyers, the Blues seem to be a franchise that’ll always find drama between the pipes. In what was supposed to be a year where Jake Allen built upon his 33-20-5 record in 61 games played a season ago, Carter Hutton has taken over as the team’s top goaltender.
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After a tremendous October where Allen posted a 7-2-1 record with a .921 save percentage, the Blues’ top goaltender has struggled mightily. In his previous nine starts, he has only one victory while also allowing three or more goals six times. As a result of his disappointing play, Allen has only started twice in St. Louis’ previous 12 games.
Meanwhile, at 32-years old, Hutton appears to be in the middle of a breakout season. The career backup has posted incredible numbers, leading the league in save percentage at .945 percent and goals against average at 1.70. If it wasn’t for Hutton’s play its hard to imagine where the Blues would be given how competitive the Central Division has been.
Despite his success, its hard to trust Hutton will be able to maintain his current level of play, given his career-high for starts in a season is only 34 games. He’s already matched his win total from a season ago with 13 and appears likely to break his career high of 20 wins in a season. Can the Blues trust him once the playoffs start?
For decade,s it seems the Blues have been knocking on the doorstep of Stanley Cup contention only to fall short due to subpar goaltending. Every season a new goaltender would emerge with a quality regular season only to stumble in the playoffs. Names that continue to haunt some Blues fans such as Roman Turek, Brent Johnson, Manny Legace, Chris Mason, Jaroslav Halak, and more recently, Brian Elliott.
This wasn’t supposed to be the case anymore as Allen was supposed to take over from Elliott and be depended upon for years to come in St. Louis. Now in just his second season as a true starter, Allen has lost his way midway through the year.
Allen has struggled before and rebounded which begs the question how long before he retakes the starting job. Last season Allen only won one game in December and suffered a six-game losing streak in the month. However, he bounced back in February and March with a record of 11-2-2.
Still, it has to be frustrating for the Blues dealing with their intended goalie of the future in Allen, who consistently enters slumps year after year. Despite how well Hutton has played, the veteran in his sixth season has never started a playoff game. Providing St. Louis with an all-too-familiar situation of having major question marks between the pipes come the postseason