The Blues’ trend of acquiring goalie help from Buffalo continued on Tuesday, as the club announced it hired ex-Sabres goaltending coach Jim Corsi to serve in the same role in St. Louis.
Corsi, 59, spent the last 16 years in Buffalo and worked with two Vezina-winning netminders — Ryan Miller (2009-10) and Dominik Hasek (1998-99, 2001). He’s also the well-known innovator of the Corsi statistic, a possession metric which calculates shots directed on goal while in five-on-five situations.
It’s not surprising the Blues went in the Corsi direction with this hire (though a tad curious given they’re not retaining Miller’s services.) Last week, GM Doug Armstrong said the shift in how the club approaches goaltending would require the new goalie coach would be exactly that — a coach.
“Ken [Hitchcock] wants to make sure we’re getting a goalie coach, not just a goalie instructor,” Armstrong said, per 1120 KMOX radio. “The difference is sometimes you have to say the uncomfortable things as a coach to push and prod players to be their best.
“So what we’re looking for is someone that’s got very strong technical skills, but someone to also push our goalies to be the best they can be.”
Corsi will replace the outgoing Corey Hirsch as goalie coach — Hirsch, who had been with the organization since 2010, was let go two weeks ago along with assistant coach Gary Agnew.
One would think Corsi’s main objective will be to aid in the rise of Jake Allen, the 23-year-old prospect who played exclusively in AHL Chicago this season. It’s no secret the organization is very high on Allen — he was the 34th overall pick in 2008, made the NHL’s All-Rookie team in 2013 and captured the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Award this year as the American League’s top goalie — but he has a pretty small NHL resume, consisting of exactly 15 games.