St. Louis Blues: On The Second Day Of Bluesmas 2017

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 12: Goaltender Carter Hutton
COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 12: Goaltender Carter Hutton /

The St. Louis Blues have had some great players come through their ranks, including some guarding the pipes. So, it should come as no surprise they have two good ones right now and they’re helping this team win.

On the second day of Bluesmas, my true Blues gave to me, two great goalies and an Adidas jersey under the tree. Still makin’ it work.

That’s right, two great goaltenders for the Blues right now – haters be damned. Jake Allen and Carter Hutton might not have the stats of the “elite” in the league, but they are damn good.

People that have read this space long enough know that I’m big on the eye test. You can quote numbers until you are blue in the face, but sometimes you have to actually watch and study the play itself.

Sometimes you have to watch the actual movements of a player or their body language. That is especially true of goaltenders.

Are they moving with calm, fluid motions or are they scrambling all over the crease for everything? Do you get a sense of calm when a team breaks in for an offensive chance or do you shrink in fear, knowing the worst will likely happen?

For most of the 2017-18 season, the first part of both those ideas has been true for the Blues in net.

Again, haters will be quick to point out Allen’s numbers. They aren’t completely wrong.

As of writing, Allen has a mediocre save percentage of .913 and a goals against at 2.52. Those are not terrible, but they are not going to win you a Vezina trophy either.

Conversely, Hutton’s numbers are very solid. .937 and 1.90 goals against for Carter the Hutt.

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You do have to take into consideration games played though. Hutton has only seen action in seven games this year, due to being a backup and also due to his recent injury.

Still, the eye test is passed with these guys, whether you like them or not.

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Both of them have bailed out the Blues on numerous occasions. They’ve single-handedly won games for this team both in this season and in prior ones.

Neither one is without fault of course. They’ve had their bad games, but again, you cannot look at stats alone.

For example, the Blues and Allen have given up six goals in their last two games. However, you could blame one goal on Jake in that time – two if you are being really picky.

Allen has a quality start percentage of 57% right now. Again, not great, but the league average is 53%, so he’s better than 16 other goaltenders in that respect.

Of course, you get fans on the other side that overvalue things. I’ve seen a few comments here and there about why we do not trade Allen or bench him in favor of Hutton.

To put it in baseball terms, which perhaps more St. Louisans will understand, that’s like asking a reliever to become a starter just because he can shut things down for an inning or two.

Hutton is skilled, he’s poised and he’s a solid player. He’s not a starter. Some players do bust out of their shells late, but there is a reason Hutton has never been a starter for any team except due to injury. He’s simply better suited to a backup role and he’s good at it. Why mess that up?

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To the point though, the Blues are quite blessed this season. Both of their netminders are playing at a very high level.

For now, we have to hope the team gets Hutton back soon since they might be willing to ride the Snake into the ground.

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Once fully healthy again, the Blues goaltenders will find their stride once more. That’s the thing the negative nellies fail to see sometimes. You can pick a player to death, but when they are still better than half the league, you know they’re actually pretty darn good.

St. Louis has two. Maybe this is not going to be a Jennings trophy season, but they’re a big reason this team is so high in the standings.