The spotlight might be burning brightly on Ryan Miller as the St. Louis Blues gear up for the postseason, but Jake Allen doesn’t seem to be too far behind. The netminder spent a majority of the season playing for the Chicago Wolves in the AHL this season, and he’s been recognized as the league’s top goalie.
— AHL (@TheAHL) April 17, 2014
Allen spent some time in the NHL during the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign and didn’t struggle, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that he’s been able to compete at such a high level in the minors.
The former second-round draft pick posted a 32-16-3 record this season while rolling up a tidy .927 save percentage. His 2.07 GAA is also remarkably low. Allen’s timing here is pretty good considering his current two-year contract turns into a one-way deal starting next season.
— Norm Sanders (@NormSanders) April 17, 2014
That makes things interesting for the Blues. Both Miller and backup Brian Elliott are on expiring pacts. While St. Louis has made it clear that they’d love to have Miller back, how he performs in the playoffs could make or break the relationship. At just 23-years-old, Allen could stand a single season of backup duty, but he doesn’t seem to be that far out.
The Blues will be engaged in a tough Round One matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks for the next week or two, and will (hopefully) have more hockey to play after that. There will be some tough choices to make in the summer though. Chief among them might be exactly how large of a role to give Allen.