Jake Allen is expected back between the pipes tonight for the St. Louis Blues, and he knows he needs to be better.
“Not proud of my record, pretty pissed off about it,” Allen said, per the Post-Dispatch. “I feel good in the net, I still feel healthy, I feel rested. I haven’t felt fatigued or anything this year. A big part of it is me, and I need to be better.”
Allen’s record is actually quite good. He’s 15-7-3 heading into tonight’s game in Dallas. However, his save percentage is just .905, one of the lowest among NHL starters. On Saturday, he allowed five goals on 35 shots in a 6-4 loss to Chicago.
Last night, Allen’s backup, Carter Hutton, got the nod against the Oilers and made 32 saves in a 3-2 OT loss to the Oilers.
“He was outstanding,” Hitchcock said of Huttons. “He was really good. Alert and sharp and he helped us. He plays like that, he deserves to play a little bit more to be honest with you.”
Allen probably doesn’t need a wake-up call, but if he did, that could definitely serve as one. Hutton hasn’t exactly threatened the No. 1 role this season, going 2-4-2 with an .893 save percentage. But any NHL goalie has the potential to get hot, and if Hutton follows up last night’s performance with another good one, Hitchcock may be tempted to ride the hot hand.
The Blues’ next game after tonight’s is Thursday in Tampa Bay, and then it’s the Christmas break.