The St. Louis Blues have had some pretty good luck of late drafting goaltenders. They are hoping a certain one can be their goaltender of the future and he is starting to find his form.
The St. Louis Blues knew they had a good goaltender when they drafted Ville Husso. The hope, ever since that selection, is that he might become their goaltender of the future.
Even more than quarterbacks, NHL teams often hope the next guy pushes out the current guy. It’s not so much because they don’t like the current person, but it makes financial sense.
Guys playing at a high level in the NHL always want more money, even if you find ways to structure team friendly deals. Players being brought up from the minors have to come in on smaller deals. So, if you can get the same level of play or better for cheaper, any GM will jump on that.
Such is the current case with Husso. He’s down in the minors right now and quickly made the jump from ECHL to AHL to what amounts to the Blues third string goalie.
Some of that was happenstance, given the Missouri Mavericks not wanting to play him. Much of it was deserved though.
When making the jump from ECHL to AHL, Husso improved his goals against average by over a goal per game. He also started 10 playoff games for the Chicago Wolves.
Things got off to a bumpy start with the San Antonio Rampage. His goals against was up near four to start the season.
While he has not taken a firm grip on the starting role yet, he’s starting to emerge even though they are still Colorado’s affiliate.
Husso got a good run of games leading up to the holidays. For his play, he was named CCM/AHL Player Of The Week.
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Husso went 2-0-0 during that week. Both of the wins came against teams above .500 and both fighting for playoff positioning. So, it’s not like he swept up the bottom of the barrel.
Husso stopped 54 of 55 shots in those two games with the shutout coming against Texas – his first of the year. Those two games saw a combined 0.50 goals against average and .982 save percentage.
Those two games improved him to 7-4-0. It also saw his stats improve to 2.68 goals against and .916 save percentage.
Husso earned this honor by leading his team. The Rampage only mustered three goals over those two games, so they needed Husso to be a wall.
According to HockeyFights.com, Husso has improved his overall North American record to 20-10-2. He’s got a 2.48 goals against average, .919 save percentage and two shutouts in 35 career AHL appearances with San Antonio and Chicago. Not too shabby for a kid still getting used to a completely different culture.
The Blues clearly are not ready for Husso to play in the NHL yet or they would have given him a game while Hutton was injured.
On top of that, Husso’s AHL numbers are comparable to Allen’s NHL numbers. Husso’s cannot be good if those numbers are bad for Allen.
These are really arguments for another day. Allen is the team’s starter for the foreseeable future and should be so.
Husso’s time will come. This weekly award proves that he can carry a team when needed. He simply needs to continue to grow and improve and he’ll be up in the league sooner than later.