Jake Allen will stay at home as the Blues head to Canada to face the Jets.
The St. Louis Blues gave Jake Allen a de facto three-game break last week in an attempt to boost the goaltender’s confidence, but he wasn’t really given the opportunity to totally reset, as he was serving as Carter Hutton’s backup and getting plenty of work in practice. The break didn’t appear to pay off in Thursday night’s 7-3 loss to the Washington Capitals, as Allen gave up six goals on 10 shots.
The Blues will go one step further in their attempt to rehabilitate Allen this weekend, as he’ll be left in St. Louis for the team’s trip to Winnipeg. The Blues will face the Jets in a Saturday afternoon matchup, and either Hutton or Pheonix Copley, who was recalled from the AHL Chicago Wolves on Friday morning, will get the start in net.
The Blues used this same type of strategy late last season and experienced very positive results, though the motive was to monitor their goaltenders’ workloads rather than trying to rehabilitate a struggling netminder. With Allen and Brian Elliott both having suffered injuries during the second half of the season, the Blues had acquired goalie Anders Nilsson from the Edmonton Oilers to provide extra protection.
So when Elliott returned to full health and gave the team a healthy trio of goalies, the Blues began leaving Elliott in St. Louis for Allen’s road starts and bringing Nilsson along as the backup goalie. It eliminated unnecessary travel for Elliott,who had been utilized to the max over the second half, even starting 18 straight games for a stretch between early January and late February, and it also gave Nilsson an opportunity to get involved.