Yesterday, while examining St. Louis’ goaltending situation, Brough wondered if Carter Hutton might be in line for tonight’s start against the Devils, after Jake Allen was hooked in Tuesday’s 6-3 loss to Nashville.
Nope. Not happening.
“[Allen’s] our guy, you’ve got to stick with him,” head coach Ken Hitchcock said today, per the News-Democrat. “These are the adversity and growing pains you go through as a young starting goalie. You’ve got to learn to fight through this stuff, you’ve got to learn to battle through this stuff.”
Allen’s had a strange year. He sits among the league leaders in wins, with 14, but his .906 save percentage is low for a workhorse ‘tender on a good team. The league average is .914.
Allen’s also in a unique situation. For the duration of his time in St. Louis, there’s always been one other goalie (or, on occasion, two) vying for the No. 1 job. It meant Hitchcock never had to anoint a starter, or publicly declare who “his guy” was. But that’s all changed. Allen’s the man, and Hutton is there to serve as his backup. And even if there was an opportunity to steal Allen’s job, Hutton hasn’t capitalized on it — he’s gone 2-4-1 with an .889 save percentage this year.
So that’s the situation in St. Louis. For the Devils, Cory Schneider is in goal.
— Jeff Zatkoff, who came on in relief of Peter Budaj in Tuesday’s loss to Buffalo, appears to be going for the Kings. He’ll be up against Jimmy Howard, who had a tough loss against the Coyotes (four goals on 19 shots) last time out.
— No surprises from the Wild, as Devan Dubnyk starts yet again. Nashville has yet to confirm a starter.
— After allowing five goals, getting yanked and smashing his stick in frustration on Tuesday night in Minnesota, Roberto Luongo goes for the Panthers in Winnipeg. He’ll square off against Connor Hellebuyck.