Saying Blues goalie Jake Allen is going through a rough stretch might be a bit of an understatement.
After being pulled in Tuesday’s loss to the Boston Bruins, Allen admitted that he had to be better if the Blues were going to win consistently.
So on Thursday night, head coach Ken Hitchcock went back to Allen for their clash against the Los Angeles Kings, and well…things didn’t get much better.
For the third time in his last five outings, the 26-year-old was pulled in favor of backup Carter Hutton.
“We’ve been beating the dead horse on we need better goaltending, but it seems like right now we’re at a stage where every mistake goes in our net,” Hitchcock said after the game, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
On Tuesday, it was three goals on 11 shots that got him chased from the crease, and last night it was three goals on 15 shots, including this one to Trevor Lewis:
Sure, maybe that goes off Alex Pietrangelo before going in, but Allen is still caught way too deep in his net.
“This is really on the athlete. There’s times in your young career where you just said you’ve had enough and then you’ve got to go turn it around the other way,” Hitchcock said of Allen’s struggles. “He’s in a position where he’s the guy that has to really take charge here. He’s got to man-up and get better and we’ve got to get better in front of him.”
With two games in two nights coming up on Saturday and Sunday, Hitchcock will almost certainly give Allen and Hutton a start each. But what happens if Allen continues to struggle?
If he can’t pull himself out of this funk, St. Louis might have to look for a different solution to their goaltending woes.