St. Louis Blues: 4 Reasons Jake Allen Should Not Be Given Up On

WINNIPEG, MB - FEBRUARY 9: Goaltender Jake Allen
WINNIPEG, MB - FEBRUARY 9: Goaltender Jake Allen /
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TORONTO,ON – JANUARY 16: Carter Hutton
TORONTO,ON – JANUARY 16: Carter Hutton /

3.) Hutton Is Still A Backup

I struggled on whether to put this one in, simply because I get tired of turning this into an almost political war. It should not have to be that you are against one person if you like another.

I dislike putting down a goaltender at all. Hutton has played incredibly well and his talents should not be diminished. It just cannot be overlooked that Hutton has been a backup his entire career.

Blues fans love to give the excuse that this guy or that was never given a fair shake. More often than not, we figure out that there was an actual reason they didn’t get playing time. Ty Rattie is a great example of that. Brian Elliott, though a solid starter, has yet to lead his other teams to glory the way so many said he would.

Hutton has amazing stats this season, but in his other years his goals against has been anywhere from 2.33 to 2.62. Those are not numbers that demand a new contract and the unseating of the incumbent goalie. Some will argue it was because he was only the backup, but that is my point.

You can’t take both sides of that issue. You cannot say his numbers are so-so because he was a backup but argue he should suddenly become a starter.

Hutton has only played more than 30 games once in his career. While he did earn 20 wins in that season, his goals against was a career worst and his save percentage was the second worst he’s had.

Not every one, but a good number of people want Hutton kept for this season and beyond. Are we really going to hand the position over to a 32 year old who has never played more than half a season? Maybe Allen is not the answer, but neither is that option.

Personally, I’d be happy to see Hutton return next season. If he is the starter, the team is in trouble though.

4.) Trades And Free Agents Don’t Win Cups

The biggest thing seen from fans, whether on chat rooms, social media or talk shows is the Blues need to acquire that true number one goaltender. They have to make a big deal at the deadline or they need to get one in free agency.

Whether you want to consider it coincidence or not, free agent or traded goaltenders do not win the Stanley Cup – not often anyway.

The last goaltender to be acquired in free agency or a trade and win, was J.S. Giguere with Anaheim in 2006-07. Before that, it was Nikolai Khabibulin with Tampa in 2003-04. You could make an argument that Dominek Hasek counts with Detroit in 2007-08, but Chris Osgood played during the finals and he was a homegrown talent even if he had bounced around.

Regardless of how you classify those, that’s three in the last 14 years. Even if you go beyond that, Patrick Roy, Ed Belfour and Hasek are all Hall of Fame goaltenders. Those are the only three other ones to do it since 1992-93. Five goaltenders in 25 seasons is not a large number.

The vast majority have been homegrown talents. It makes sense too, if you think about it.

Unless there are behind the curtain issues, as with Roy or Belfour, championship goaltenders are not usually available. If and when they are, it is usually for a reason the Blues would want to stay away from. Ryan Miller has never fully regained his form and Carey Price has a contract that will never be worth it given the financial constraints it would put on the Blues.

Blues fans are always searching for the next goaltender, but they need to start trying to figure out how to make the ones we have work. Outsiders just don’t often win championships. When they do, they are often all time greats. Giguere was the only exception to that and he had a Hall of Fame cast in front of him.

Maybe Allen is not the guy to win it all. I cannot sit here and guarantee he is. I hope he is because the other options are not great.

Next: Blues Must Make A Deal To Shake Up The Team

The Blues have a reasonably young team with more talent on the way, so the window is not shutting. Goaltenders tend to hit their prime later in their career though, so waiting on Ville Husso is not something I choose to do.

The Blues need to play better to a man – Allen is a part of that. To toss him aside after being a playoff hero just one year ago is like tossing the baby out with the bath water.

Heroes don’t walk through the door in this position. The Blues simply cannot give up on Allen yet.