Feb 5, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen (34) comes into the game for Blues goalie Brian Elliott (1) after giving up 4 goals to the Nashville Predators during the second period at the Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Allen Makes NHL Debut with St. Louis Blues

It may not have been the first time that Jake Allen skated onto the ice in an NHL game, but it is the first time that he actually saw any action.

Jake Allen is typically the starting goaltender for the Peoria Rivermen of the AHL.  He has been highly touted as one of the top goaltending prospects in the league, but his game has seen a decline over the past couple seasons.  Allen finally has the opportunity to be the starter in Peoria this season though as the Blues shipped Ben Bishop to Ottawa last season.

So far this season Allen’s play has been decent in the AHL.  IN the 31 games he has played in, he has managed a record of 12-16-2 while recording two shutouts.  His goals-against-average is a high 2.94 while his save percentage is .903.  While they are the not the best numbers in the world, Peoria’s defense has been a bit of a mess this season which would explain the high GAA.

Last night in a crushing defeat at home against the Nashville Predators, young netminder Jake Allen stepped in to take over after Brian Elliott let in four goals on eleven shots just 29 minutes into the game.  While typically a goalie change will motivate teams to play their best hockey, the same could not be said for the Blues.

Jake Allen’s first shot against him would manage to find its way to the back of the net.  Not the best way to start a career, but Darren Pang did try to make it better by letting us all know the same thing happened to him.

After letting the first one past, the Blues had a mini rally giving them their only goal of the game from Alex Pietrangelo.  The Blues wouldn’t allow Allen to see another shot for almost 16 minutes.

In the eight shots that Allen saw last night he was able to stop six of them.  While it was not the best entry into the NHL, St. Louis Blues fans should remember that this is one of the hardest positions to master in the league.  Just look at Brian Elliott’s night and it is a lot easier not to pass judgment on Allen.  Clearly it was an off night for the Blues.

Let’s hope that Allen gets a chance to prove to himself and the fans that he is up for the challenge in the future, but hopefully not in a similar situation.

The Blues will be back on the ice on Thursday to take on the Red Wings.  Let’s hope that they are ready for the challenge as the last game against the Wings seems to have gotten in their heads.  Thursday will mark Wade Redden’s 1000th career game so look for a pre-game celebration as well.


-Alex Hodschayan

Tags: Brian Elliott Jake Allen St. Louis Blues

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