The future of goaltending appears to be bright in St. Louis as Peoria Rivermen’s Jake Allen made quite the name for himself during the month of February while debuting in the NHL.
With Jaroslav Halak out of the lineup, and Blues’ backup netminder Brian Elliott struggling between the pipes, Allen was rewarded an opportunity to make his debut for the Blues. His first contest was February 5th as Elliott was yanked after allowing 4 untimely goals against the Nashville Predators. Allen went on to let in 2 on 8 shots as the Blue fell 6-1 to the Preds.
Allen would make the first official start of his career on February 13th against the Detroit Red Wings. He would turn aside 15 shots in the game as the Blues went on to win 4-3 in overtime, picking up his first victory.
Allen would play in the next game against the Calgary Flames just two nights later. Allen would put in one of his best efforts of his career as he turned away 29 shots in a 5-2 victory. In the game, he would make several big saves, including a spectacular stick save against Flames forward T.J. Brodie – a save which made highlight reels all over Canada.
Blues’ GM Ken Hitchcock would once again play Allen the following night against the Vancouver Canucks. Allen kept the Canucks forwards under control turning away 28 shots to send the game to a shootout. Allen would then stop both Canucks' shots as the Blues skated away with a 4-3 victory.
On February 19th, Allen would suffer his first career loss in a game against the San Jose Sharks. Allen allowed 2 goals on 25 shots in a close 2-1 loss.
Following the loss, Allen was re-assigned to the Peoria Rivermen as Halak had now returned from injury, and Allen ended up being the odd man out as both Halak and Elliott combined to be the top goaltending duo last season, and both were signed to lucrative deals.
Allen was between the pipes Saturday night for the Rivermen against the Chicago Wolves, but allowed 3-goals on 34 shots in a 3-0 loss.
Evidentially, the future is bright for Allen as he posted a 3-1 record with a .895 save percentage, accompanied by a 2.62 Goals Against Average.
The 22-year old, Fredericton, New Brunswick Native was selected in the 2nd round, 34th overall by the Blues in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He was a part of the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championship team that won silver for Canada. Allen was also named both the QMJHL Best goaltender of the year, and the CHL Goaltender of the year during the 2009-10 as he posted a 29-14-0 (2.2GAA , 0.923%) record.