The St. Louis Blues are just two games into their regular season schedule, but that won’t stop them from giving Jake Allen some rest on Saturday night.
The team announced that backup goalie Carter Hutton will be between the pipes for tonight’s game home game against the New York Rangers.
“It’s an early reward for a job well done in training camp,” said head coach Ken Hitchcock, per The Dispatch. “He did a great job during training camp; he was outstanding. And he’s part of our team moving forward. We’ve got to get him in the action as quickly as possible to be honest with you.”
After trading Brian Elliott to the Calgary Flames this summer, the Blues signed Hutton to a two-year, $2.25 million contract.
The 30-year-old had spent the previous three seasons as Pekka Rinne‘s backup in Nashville.
Last year, he had a 7-5-3 record with a 2.33 goals-against-average and a .918 save percentage in 17 games with the Preds.
Going long stretches without playing is one of the toughest parts of being a backup goaltender, so getting Hutton some early action could benefit the Blues in the long run.
“It can be (tough) but it’s something I’ve dealt with in my career a lot, especially with the minutes I played in Nashville,” Hutton said. “Two years ago, there was some three or four week stints and I struggled with it at times and last year I learned to deal with it and I found ways through practice with the goalie coach to deal with it.”