St. Louis Blues: Jake Allen Just Got More Put On his Plate

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 7: Jake Allen
ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 7: Jake Allen /

The St. Louis Blues have been cruising along with their tandem of goaltenders, with each one performing well much more often than not. Now, they have to rely on only one for awhile.

The St. Louis Blues have a little to worry about now. They have to put a lot of pressure on Jake Allen because they do not have the comfort of Carter Hutton behind him.

Now, it should be said there is no official word about how long Hutton will be out. It might be a day or two or it could be longer.

All we do know is that Hutton was wearing a walking boot after injuring himself in a morning practice prior to the team’s game against Dallas. It appeared as though his pad came loose, so the puck may have hit him in the toe area.

That could be a tricky injury, that depends a lot on the severity. If it’s just a deep bruise, Hutton could be ready to play by the time St. Louis takes on Buffalo on Sunday evening. If it’s more severe than that, the Blues have some choices to make.

The problem is, being in a walking boot tells us nothing. Players wear these things for small and large injuries, mostly just to keep the pressure off the affected area.

For now, we know that Allen better prepare to be in the net. That’s not a big change for him since he has been in the net more than not.

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Allen has played in 22 of the team’s 29 games this season. Doing the math tells you Hutton has only seen seven games of action.

That’s not a large portion, by any stretch. However, Hutton has played some very important minutes.

With the exception of his poor performance against LA Kings, Hutton has been very good this year. Even in his losses, again aside from that LA game, he’s given the team a chance to win just about every time out. He’s also been one of the main reasons the team has won in several games over the last couple seasons.

Of course, like any goaltender, there are people out there that foolishly think Hutton should be the starter. Hutton is fine backup and maybe should play a little more often, but he’s not starter quality.

Regardless of that, he’s a big part of this team. So, if he is out longer than the team hopes, they have to come up with a plan since there is a back-to-back situation coming right up.

The Blues play in Detroit on Saturday at noon and then at home against Buffalo Sunday night. Do you allow Allen to play in both? Do you let the team play for their goaltender and give Ville Husso a chance for his first NHL game in either of those?

Likely the Blues will go with Allen, unless they know this is a longer-term injury. If that becomes the case, you need to keep Allen fresh and allow Husso to prove himself.

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St. Louis needs to be smart about all this though. They nearly had a disaster scenario as Allen took two tumbles, one with a player falling on him, the very day Hutton got injured.

Of course, you cannot make gameplans based on the idea someone might get hurt. You don’t want to put too much stress on Allen either, if you believe in Husso.

For now, we should hope that this is a short-term issue. If so, the Blues will be fine and Allen won’t play any more games than he would have anyway. We will see.