The St. Louis Blues have a history of not supporting their goaltenders. After a stunning loss in the World Championships, one of the team’s prospects might be learning that fact even when not playing with the Blues.
The St. Louis Blues, and many fans, have high hopes for the future of Ville Husso. Many are hoping that he is the goaltender of the near future, what with the fan base clearly divided on the viability of Jake Allen going forward.
That is an argument for a different time and a different article. For now, there is plenty to like about Husso, but he is still painfully young when it comes to being a goaltender and having North American experience.
Still, the talent is in there. Husso was named to the All-AHL rookie team. The question heading into this World Championship tournament was how much he would play since his counterpart had NHL experience, even if brief.
Husso did not get the start in Finland’s opener against South Korea. He did get the nod in the team’s second game against Latvia. Husso stopped 18 of 19 shots and was only denied a shutout by a seeing eye shot through traffic.
Husso was given the start in the team’s next contest as well, which figured to be a win against the host Denmark. Denmark has Frederik Andersen in goal, but also added NHL talent in Mikkel Boedker and Jannik Hansen after San Jose got eliminated. Those additions provided some big spark in this game.
Sadly, Husso had to learn a lesson that might help him in his future days with the Blues given St. Louis’ habit of hanging goalies out to dry. He learned that even though you have the better team, your teammates do not always help you out.
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Statistically, Husso was not tested a ton. He faced 17 shots and stopped 14 in the stunning 3-2 upset win by Denmark.
However, Husso had to grind through four power plays by the Danes. International refs do tend to call things a little tighter, but the extra ice on the bigger rinks tends to keep power play numbers lower.
Finland was overly frustrated by the surprisingly quick and plucky Denmark team. They grew frustrated offensively as well since Andersen turned aside 33 of 35 shots.
The vain offensive output led to some lax defending. Husso had to stop multiple breakaway chances just to keep the Suomi in the contest.
Ultimately, there was nothing Husso could do on the game winning goal. Nicholas Hardt was left alone on the back door as Denmark slipped a pass right to left. Hadt had a tap-in with 1:59 to play in the third.
Like St. Louis for much of 2017-18, Finland was struggling playing from behind. They had never trailed in the tournament, but never led in this game, falling behind 1-0 and 2-1.
It is not as though he has never had these sorts of games in his young career, but Husso learned something that was always likely to happen with the Blues. Sometimes the guys in front of you don’t show up and that makes your job harder. Sometimes you just can’t bail them out.
In other news, Dmitrij Jaskin scored again for the Czechs. I’d like to be excited, buuuuut…I’m not.