One of the league’s more interesting goalie tandems is in St. Louis, where journeyman Brian Elliott is in competition with 24-year-old prospect Jake Allen for the No. 1 gig.
This weekend, though, will be Allen’s first game action in an awfully long time.
Elliott will go against the Kings tonight, head coach Ken Hitchcock said, meaning Allen — barring a relief appearance this evening — will make his season debut on Saturday in Arizona, his first start since a mid-April nod in Columbus during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign.
(Allen was fast-tracked to the NHL as a 22-year-old after injuries hit Jaroslav Halak.)
Allen, who was parked behind Elliott, Halak and Ryan Miller last season, spent the 2013-14 campaign with AHL Chicago, going 33-16-3 with a 2.03 GAA and .928 save percentage en route to winning the American League’s goalie of the year award.
Now he’s ready to get back into the bigs.
“It’s good to get a game in, a meaningful game,” Allen said, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “But it’s been nice to practice with the team for 10, 12 days, and it was actually good for me to watch a couple of games — see how the team is playing, see what I need to do to help the team win.
“But I’m looking forward to it. It’s something I’ve been working toward since I was here in 2013. It’s finally an opportunity to show what I can do.”