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Are the Blues goalies a question mark?

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Why is the MSM worried about Elliott and Allen?

Jake Allen
Jake Allen
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

J-Mill linked to this NHL.com article that asked “Can the Blues compete for the Cup with their revamped goaltending?” Uh, yeah!

Am I worried about Brian Elliott?

Hell no. Here's Elliott's numbers over his Blues career:

GP

GS

ESA

EGA

ESV

ESVPCT

PKSA

PKGA

PKSV

PKSVPCT

PPSA

PPGA

PPSV

PPSVPCT

TOTSVPCT

38

36

806

44

762

0.945

148

13

135

0.912

18

1

17

0.944

0.940

24

20

448

37

411

0.917

66

11

55

0.833

12

1

11

0.917

0.907

31

25

566

43

523

0.924

101

8

93

0.921

14

2

12

0.857

0.922

93

81

1820

1696

0.932

315

283

0.898

44

40

0.909

0.93

Here's the list of NHL goalies with as many (or more) shots faced and a higher Even Strength Save Percentage over that time:

Tuukka Rask

Pretty short list.

Am I worried about Jake Allen?

A little. Allen doesn't have much NHL data and what little has has is underwhelming.

GP

GS

ESA

EGA

ESV

ESVPCT

15

13

291

26

265

0.910

I know Army thinks Allen is the real deal. Army also traded Halak and a bunch of assets to get Miller, so I'm not sure Army's evaluation of goaltenders is to be trusted. Comparing Allen's AHL record to a couple of other NHL starters who spent a long time in the minors, Allen compares ok (these are overall numbers, I don't have ES data for the AHL):

Name

GP

W

L

T/O

GA

SA

SV

SV%

Jake Allen

120

51

58

7

322

3696

3374

0.913

Corey Crawford

255

135

98

13

669

7278

6609

0.908

Jimmy Howard

186

90

73

11

475

1327

1215

0.916

Would I sign an insurance policy?

I would. Ilya Bryzgalov and Tim Thomas are still out there. Bryz is a little flaky. Ok, Bryz is more than a little flaky. He's “Charles Manson eating Froot Loops on your front porch” crazy. But he is still 0.923 ES for his career. Thomas is 0.928 ES for his career. He was 0.913 ES in 2013. Maybe he is better suited to duty as a golf course marshal than an NHL starter at this point, but I have a soft spot in my heart for the irascible elderly. Sign one of them and park them in Chicago in case the wheels somehow fall off.

How good do the goalies have to be?

Average will be fine.  The Blues had a shot differential of +240.  By adding Stasny and Lehtera, they should be up around +300 (or more).  With that kind of margin, lousy goaltending snags a playoff berth.  Average goaltending will have them in the hunt for the President's Trophy.