Jake Allen Following Career Path
How unpredictable is the NHL season?
Who saw the St. Louis Blues losing four consecutive games at home and goaltender Jake Allen rescuing them out of the ditch?
Allen is set to make his third straight start tonight in Vancouver coming off his best NHL performance two nights ago in Calgary.
A highlight reel save led to Allen trending on twitter and to the 22 year-old becoming the most recent draft pick to arrive on the scene with the Blues.
How long this lasts remains to be seen. With the expected return of Jaroslav Halak, Allen and his confidence could return to Peoria this week.
The Blues are hopeful the recent time off has repaired whatever psychological damage was done to Brian Elliott. Elliott, coming off a career year last season, took the loss in all four games on the recent homestand and further cements the idea that goaltending is mostly played between the ears.
At any rate, Allen’s performance has answered a number of questions…for now anyway.
Things can change quickly for goalies which is why the evaluation process is truly day to day.
Allen had a tremendous junior career which included a Gold medal at the U-18 worlds, Silver at the U-20 world juniors, while being named both the CHL and QMJHL goaltender of the year. He was outstanding a few years back at the annual Traverse City prospects tourney which turned a lot of heads as well.
His first year full season as a pro landed him in the AHL all-star classic and most scouts have him pegged as one of a few AHL goalies with real number one NHL potential.
At the very least, Allen’s efforts the last few games confirmed the label that’s followed him since he was drafted. He’s always been considered a mature kid with talent.
I’ll give the Blues credit here, from day one he was never pushed or rushed and they’ve allowed him to come along at a pace where he can achieve success. He took off sooner than expected his rookie season before taking a back seat to Ben Bishop last year. Bishop was arguably the top goaltender in the AHL and took the job and ran with it. Once Bishop was moved it created an opportunity for Allen to regain his seat as the number one goaltender and he played very well after the trade deadline.
He went on a stretch where he started 21 of 22 games and proved he was ready to grab the starting job.
This training camp was different in terms of him knowing he would be the guy going into his third season. One thing about Allen is that he’s been on the NHL trek since he was a teenager and he’s driven to be an NHL goaltender. Having his sights set on being an impact guy at the NHL level isn’t new.
Allen is still very young especially when talking goaltenders. Very few settle into the NHL until their mid 20’s and usually don’t hit their peak until 26-28 years of age.
Guys like Jimmy Howard, Cory Schneider, and Devan Dubnyk are a few goaltenders who were recently groomed in the AHL.
Ottawa super prospect Robin Lehner wins a Calder Cup and is still learning his path to becoming a fulltime NHL tender. He’s been unbelievable in the AHL this season and will likely force Ottawa to trade St. Louis native Ben Bishop.
Getting NHL experience on this road trip for Allen is part of his path. He brings a level of physical and mental maturity that was probably lacking with former first round pick Marek Schwartz.
Tonight presents nothing more than the next challenge. He was playing his best hockey of the year just before being called up and he’s carried it into his two starts.
First off congrats to St. Louis native Pat Maroon on scoring the tying goal for Anaheim last night in Nashville.
The U-16 AAA St. Louis Blues took 1st place in the Tier 1 playoffs this weekend in Blaine, Minnesota. Congrats to Head Coach Bill Mermis along with assistants Keith Tkachuk and Brock Wilson.
Columbus GM Jarmo Keklainen is expected to join his new team on a fulltime basis beginning Wednesday. He’ll be in St. Louis on Saturday.
Anyone notice Brad Boyes is averaging over 18:30 minutes per pame and has piled up 12 points with the New York Islanders?
Inside the Numbers….
Here are a few….
T.J. Oshie is tied for 2nd among NHL forwards with seven PP assists
Alex Steen is 9th among forwards in shots
David Backes is 16th among forwards in hits. His 11 blocked shots leads all Blues forwards.
Patrik Berglund ranks 15th among forwards in shooting%. Patrick Kane is the only player with a higher % with more shots on goal.
Kevin Shattenkirk leads all D-men in even strength and PP assists.
Alex Pietrangelo’s six even strength assists ranks him 2nd.
Pietrangelo is 4th in NHL in shifts per game with 32.4. Drew Doughty leads the way with 33.8 per game.
Pietrangelo is 10th among D-men in ice time at 25:49 per game.
Blues PP currently ranks 1st in the NHL at a whopping 35.8%. The Blues have scored 19 PPG, all 5-0n-4, but rank 20th in PP opportunities. One reason for their success is they don’t hesitate putting pucks on net. They’re in the middle of the pack with 78 PP shots on goal.
The Blues have been shorthanded 4:53 more this season than they’ve spent on the PP. That number increases to 14:54 on the road.
St. Louis ranks 25th in blocked shots, 16th in hits and 23rd in face offs.
They rank 22nd in 5-on-5 goals.
Blues are 6-0-1 when scoring first and 6-2-1 when outshooting the opponent.
Jaro Halak is two wins shy of tying Glenn Hall and moving into the top 10 in franchise history with 58.
Backes is four points shy of tying Adam Oates and moving into 20th all time in Blues scoring.
45.3% of Alex Pietrangelo’s 5-on-5 ice time this season has been played with Ian Cole. 33.3% has been played with Wade Redden.
On the flipside 91.6% of Ian Cole’s time on ice has been spent alongside Pietrangelo. (Behindthenet.ca)
According to behindthenet.ca…
Face offs taken while David Backes is on the ice…
Offensive zone…won 25 lost 32
Defensive Zone...won 40 lost 33
Neutral Zone…Won 39 Lost 43
Offensive Zone….won 31 lost 45
Defensive Zone…won 15 lost 17
Neutral Zone…won 31 lost 23
Offensive Zone…won 29 lost 34
Defensive Zone…won 21 lost 23
Neutral Zone….won 31 lost 23
Offensive Zone…won 16 lost 13
Defenisve Zone…won 17 lost 14
Neutral Zone…won 20 lost 8
Offensive Zone…won 27 lost 22
Defensive Zone…won 36 lost 35
Neutral Zone…won 26 lost 18
Offensive Zone…won 28 lost 42
Defensive Zone…won 16 lost 20
Neutral zone…won 30 lost 24
These are face offs taken while these guys are on the ice and include face offs lost by other players.
More to come,
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