When the St. Louis Blues travel to Winnipeg for Saturday’s game against the Jets, they’ll leave their starting goalie behind.
Jake Allen, the 23-year-old who took over full-time No. 1 duties when Brian Elliott was traded to Calgary, has struggled all season and especially lately. Allen has a .897 save percentage on the season, 2.85 GAA and has been pulled from four of his past six starts. On Thursday night alone he was yanked from the net twice.
“I don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, before confirming that Allen won’t join the team on its trip to Winnipeg. “Jake’s struggling right now and I made a decision last night that I think taking a day away, and getting a total reset, he could get a reset traveling with the team, but I wanted a complete reset and then we come back on Sunday, he’s back in the net and he’s ready to go. To me it’s not a huge story; he’s going to take a day to get a reset with his family, he just had a young baby, but the play needs to improve and I want to give him a fresh start.”
In the meantime, the team called up Pheonix Copley, a 25-year-old undrafted goalie who is 11-4-1 with a .920 save percentage in the AHL this season. Carter Hutton, 31, who has served as Allen’s back up all season will be the second goalie headed to Winnipeg, although the team hasn’t decided yet who will be the starter.
Allen has lost four games in a row and nine of his past 12.
According to team beat reporter Jeremy Rutherford, the team says it’s still committed to Allen as the long-term goalie and that most of the issues with his game are mental.
After Saturday’s game in Winnipeg, the Blues next play Tuesday in Pittsburgh and Thursday in Minnesota.