The St. Louis Blues sit third in the Central Division with less than a third of the 2015-2016 regular season remaining. Their rather successful campaign this year is due in part to dedicated play throughout the lineup, but is especially thanks to the performances of the tandem in net: Jake Allen and Brian Elliott.
Prior to the season’s first puck drop a question mark within the St. Louis organization was whether or not Allen would succeed in taking over the starting role from Elliott. It was also a possibility that the Blues would look outside the organization for a new goal tender entirely.
Luckily, the St. Louis Blues have established a rather consistent crease and they avoided the complications of a third-party option. Thus far Allen and Elliott have worked together and more or less split ice time to find success for the team.
Moving into the final stretch of the season and eventually the playoffs, the Blues will look to the tandem even more for quality performances in games that can determine the direction of the season.
The long-standing Blues net minder of five-years has been the mainstay of St. Louis’ goaltending during that time and he has made a rather seamless transition into a different role. Having previously been the declared starter for the team, Elliott has managed to gracefully accept the fate that he and Jake Allen split time more evenly in the crease.
The 30-year-old veteran has played in 27 goals this season for the team, going (12-7-5) with a .930 save percentage and a 2.13 goals against average. With numbers like those Elliott has proven his worth despite not being the starter for the Blues.
Down the stretch no. 1’s experience in the league will only benefit the Blues. Elliott has seen postseason action three seasons in his time in the Gateway City posting a (5-8-0) record. While that isn’t exactly a shining record and it certainly isn’t what the Blues are hoping for this year, his knowledge of what it takes to play in the high intensity format of the playoffs will no doubt be beneficial.
The 25-year-old Allen has two seasons of NHL hockey under his belt and is on track to beat his career high number of games played in just five more games. This season Allen has posted a .924 save percentage and a 2.17 goals against average with a record of (18-10-3) through 33 games.
While Allen’s stats are inferior to those of his goaltending counterpart, Elliott is 4th in the league in save percentage and 7th in goals against with Allen being 11th and 10th respectively, he’s still a major factor in the Blues’ success thus far.
It’s Allen’s first season as a “starter” in his NHL career and thus the Blues are helping him transition with the help of the more experienced Elliott. He’s played six more games than his peer; however, there’s still time for them to nearly split the season.
He’s played in six postseason games last season for the Blues, going (2-4-0). This year will serve as hopeful retribution for Allen in the playoffs as he and the Blues aim to find more success.
Down the Stretch
The remainder of the season is crucial for the Blues seeing that they not only have to earn a spot in the postseason, but they have to prove themselves once they get there. Allen and Elliott will only help them to do that.
The disappointment the organization and its fans have dealt with over the last few playoff appearances should only fuel the fire beneath the talented club in their quest for the team’s first Stanley Cup in franchise history.