St. Louis Blues Goaltending Top Notch Even With Hiccups

ST. LOUIS, MO - FEBRUARY 2: Carter Hutton
ST. LOUIS, MO - FEBRUARY 2: Carter Hutton /

The St. Louis Blues, like many teams in the NHL, have had goaltending problems over the course of their history. This year looks like that will be anything but the case.

The St. Louis Blues know that 90% of the nights they play this year, they are going to be able to count on their goaltenders to carry the load. They have done so so far in the 2017-18 season.

Sure, there have been hiccups along the way. The Blues game in St. Louis against the New York Islanders was a prime example.

Jake Allen received no support, but also did not have his A-game either. Carter Hutton came in in relief, but had a similar outcome with slightly better stats.

In the grand scheme of things, the St. Louis Blues have had some of the best goaltending we’ve seen in years though. Take into consideration that that Islanders game was the first time either goaltender was yanked, other than for an extra attacker scenario.

Closing in on a quarter of the way through the season and the Blues have only had to change goaltenders once. That’s not too bad, especially considering some of the scores we’ve seen so far this season in other games.

Through 18 games, the Blues are tied for seventh in the NHL with 44 goals allowed. They are third in the NHL in terms of combined goals against average – currently 2.41.

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The Blues are also tied for third in save percentage. Having teams like the Sharks and Kings in those categories is not too shabby.

Beyond just the numbers, the Blues are just getting exactly what you want from your net patrol. They are getting timely saves along with the occasional big save.

There has been a ton of focus on the offense this season and rightfully so. Currently, the Blues have more goals than vaunted offenses like Chicago, Pittsburgh, Winnipeg, Dallas or Edmmonton.

However, it has been the goaltending that has been the backbone of this team. On the nights that the scoring was not there or was slow to get going, Allen and Hutton have stepped up to the plate more often than not.

If Hutton had played enough games to be eligible, he’d be tops in both goals against and save percentage right now. He’s been stellar just about every time out even though he’s only seen four games of action.

Allen’s stats are less impressive just reading them, but he has quickly ascended to one of the league’s better goaltenders. He still has his haters, but St. Louisans apparently love to hate on goaltenders so that’s not an argument even worth having anymore.

Allen is making the save he needs to. He’s also bailed the Blues out more times than you can count this year already.

At this point, both goaltenders (Allen in particular) don’t need to play out of their minds. If they simply hold the course they are on, the Blues are going to be set.

That has been the big problem in years past. The team could not focus as much on scoring because they were worried about leaks at the back.

Hutton and Allen have those sealed up right now. That gives the defenders the freedom to join the play. It gives the forwards the confidence to be more aggressive.

Anything that helps this team score more and be more fluid as a team is essential. That’s exactly what the Blues are getting right now.

Goaltending is often a sneaky thing. When Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak won the Jennings trophy, it never completely felt like the team was getting top notch goaltending every single night. They just were.

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This year, you can tell the difference so far. Because Allen and Hutton have played so well, you think the Blues have a chance to win every time out.

Maybe they won’t win the Jennings again, but who cares. If they can help the Blues have a chance to win the big prize at the end of the year, that’s all you can ask for.