The St. Louis Blues have a goaltending problem.
In fact, based on their team save percentage* (.893), they have the worst goaltending in the entire NHL.
It’s a remarkable development, given they had the best goaltending (.919) last season. But Jake Allen has struggled as the undisputed starter. His save percentage fell to a modest .902 after getting yanked in last night’s 5-3 loss to Boston.
Carter Hutton was actually tagged with the loss, after Allen allowed three goals on Boston’s first 11 shots and Hutton came in to start the second period.
“I’ve got to be better,” Allen said, per the Post-Dispatch. “Hutts, I thought he did an amazing job tonight. He gave us a chance. He had lots of shots. He gave us a chance to get the win and he ends up getting the loss. I think it should be all me. He was awesome tonight.”
But Hutton hasn’t been awesome overall. The backup is 4-5-2 with an .896 save percentage. As a tandem, Allen and Hutton haven’t provided close to what Allen and Brian Elliott provided last season. As a result, the Blues’ goals-against average has fallen from fourth (2.40) all the way to 24th (2.98).
No, it is not all on the goalies.
“I don’t think our level of defending all year has the level of desperation that you need to have if you expect to garner points on an ongoing basis,” said head coach Ken Hitchcock.
But Allen is absolutely right that he has to be better. The 26-year-old said coming into the season that he still needed to prove he was a No. 1 goalie. And let’s face it, the jury is still out on that.
The Blues (21-15-5) kick off a three-game California road trip Thursday in Los Angeles.
*St. Louis has allowed nine empty-netters, which are included in team save percentage.