The St. Louis Blues picked up a gritty win over the Boston Bruins 4-2 on Tuesday. While the entire team chipped in, the goaltender came up huge.
The St. Louis Blues had a very interesting game against the Boston Bruins. There was a little something for everyone.
For the nostalgic fans, David Backes managed to score the opening goal of the game. It was a bit of irony, though that word is overused, but would you expect any less in that situation?
The Blues managed to battle back and seemed poised to take the lead. After they tied the game, they seemed to be taking it by the scruff.
The Blues had a great chance to do just that on a powerplay attack, but the Blues got in their own way again. A shorthanded goal gave the Bruins the lead a second time.
St. Louis was a bit unfortunate it happened at all. The clear out by Boston seemed to hit someone on their own bench, which should have meant a dead play and a faceoff in their zone.
Instead, the Blues gave the puck away immediately. The puck also appeared to be deflected on the shot as Jori Lehtera tried to make up for his give away.
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Still, Jake Allen should have stopped the shot. In his mind, he knows he could have stopped it. That’s the curse of a goaltender.
The good thing is Allen made up for it. He made up for it big time later in the game.
After the Blues fell behind, they rallied around their goaltender. They had an amazing push to get the two goals that put them ahead 3-2.
The team’s defense keeps joining the play and that led to the tying goal. Robert Bortuzzo picked up the rebound.
After that, Paul Stastny gave the team the lead.
It was Allen that made it hold up though. He came up with save after save when the Bruins were pushing hard as the game went on.
He seemed to thrive on the pressure as well. Sure, there were shaky moments since we are so heavily invested as fans, but those things happen to any team, not just Allen.
In the grand scheme, he came up with the saves he was supposed to make. He also came up with a few he shouldn’t have.
As much as there will never be a way to please everyone when it comes to goaltenders, that’s basically what everyone wants. They want their goaltender to make the saves they should and come up with a few that are for the highlight reels.
Allen’s only problem right now is the ones that sneak through that should not. All goaltenders let up the occasional softy, but it seems to happen with a little too much regularity for the Snake.
You do have to take into account the odd-man rushes the Blues give up, the turnovers and the weak defense at times. However, even Allen will say there are some goals he’d love to have back.
As important as his big save ability is the fact that it is turning into wins. It’s all well and good to make the saves, but if the team is not responding to that, it is all for naught. Right now, the Blues are playing for Allen and vice versa.
The thing to like about Allen’s game right now is the combination of calm and aggressiveness. He’s still giving up the odd goal, but it isn’t affecting him quite as much.
He’s getting back to that smooth motion on his lateral movements. When he is not on his game, he looks too antsy and jerky in his motions. He’s smoother lately and the Blues have been responding for him.
It doesn’t hurt that the team is scoring more as well. St. Louis went through a rough patch where they were lucky to score one goal.
Now that they are getting an average of 3.6 goals in the last five, which includes their four game win streak – that helps calm any goaltender. It’s easy to put a poor goal behind you when you believe it won’t cost your team in the long run.
Jake Allen is going to be a big key for this team. He’s been handed the reigns and it’s his team to lead.
The Blues are led by Alex Pietrangelo and it is Vladimir Tarasenko‘s team. They’ll only go as far as Allen can take them though and if he can win games the way he did against Boston, then that bodes well for the rest of the year.