A new twist in the St. Louis goaltending drama on Friday — after a disastrous home loss against Washington, the Blues have recalled Pheonix Copley from AHL Chicago.
Copley, 25, was one of the players acquired in the T.J. Oshie-to-Washington trade. He’s played well this season, sitting 10th in the AHL in wins (11) and ninth in both GAA (2.32) and save percentage (.920).
To date, Copley has played in one NHL contest, coming on in relief of Jake Allen in a loss to Nashville last February.
UPDATE (per the Post-Dispatch): There was additional drama this afternoon, as Blues GM Doug Armstrong said Allen wouldn’t travel with the Blues for Saturday’s game in Winnipeg, giving him a chance to “reset.”
Copley or Carter Hutton will face the Jets.
Armstrong went on to say the majority of Allen’s issues are mental, but insisted he’s still the club’s “long-term goaltender.”
We’ve written plenty about Allen’s struggles this year (see here, here, here and here), and things hit rock bottom on Thursday. He was hooked by Ken Hitchcock after allowing two goals on three shots to start the game, but was sent back in just a few minute later — a classic Hitchcockian move, designed to give his goalie an in-game reset.
But it didn’t work.
Hitch was forced to hook Allen for good in the second period, after the Caps scored for the fourth time — on just 10 shots.
Afterward, Hitchcock admitted his No. 1 netminder is a mess.
“There’s a lot going on right now. … He’s kind of locked up mentally and he’s going to have to fight through this,” Hitchock said, per Lou Korac of NHL.com. “What we see at practice, we like. That’s why we put him in quite frankly.”
To their credit, the Blues have tried to shake things up, like parking Allen and going with Hutton.
Hutton has fared well in small stretches but, this week, he was given a chance to start three games in a row and bombed in the third, allowing five goals in just 23 shots in a loss to Ottawa.
So, enter Copley. It’s asking a lot of him to try and turn things around but, at this point, the Blues are desperate and have to try something.