He was better in February, and brilliant in March.
Now he’s the hottest goalie in the NHL, coming off a 51-save triumph Wednesday in Minnesota.
Not bad for a guy who was so messed up mentally that his coach left him at home for a road trip in January.
Indeed, it’s been quite the roller-coaster season for Blues goalie Jake Allen — even if he won’t admit the full extent of it.
“It was three weeks for me that was real tough, but other than that I thought I had a really good year,” Allen told reporters after he stole Game 1 for St. Louis.
It was more than three weeks, Jake.
Allen’s save percentage was .903 in November, and .892 in December. By that point, he was already upset about his numbers. Then January hit and things really went south. That month he finished with a ghastly .841 save percentage, and head coach Ken Hitchcock was fired on the first day of February.
It may not be a coincidence that Allen’s numbers improved the moment Mike Yeo took over behind the bench.
“Hitch had a short leash, probably shorter than most coaches in the league,” Allen told the Post-Dispatch at the end of the regular season. “That’s just the way he is; he was never going to change. That wasn’t something that I was going to be able to talk him out of.”
“He tells you what he wants out of you and it’s pretty straightforward,” Allen said. “I really respect that and he’s a guy that I love to play for. He always comes to the rink with the right mindset, the right attitude, and it rubs off on us. It rubs off on me.”
Game 2 of the Blues-Wild series goes tonight in Minnesota.