Carter Hutton has been playing very well this season. Jake Allen has not.
This isn’t some sort of secret; look at their stats:
Hutton has been lights out, with his most recent win Tuesday night’s 2-1 overtime defeat of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Jake Allen, unfortunately, hasn’t won a game since December 23rd.
On top of that, we have this from coach Mike Yeo:
“I thought he did a heck of a job,” Yeo said. “I don’t know that he was tested a lot early. Obviously, the big moment for me was when they scored (a short-handed goal), I thought he made two, three really good saves. It could’ve been 2-0, 3-0 there right off the hop. And that was when he played his best and that gave us a chance to tie the game.”
I don’t believe in goalie controversies - I tend to think that they’re something that comes out of fans’ interpretations of coaches doing their job. You ride the hot hand - and right now, Hutton is hot. It’s not a slight against Allen, it’s not some grand plan by Yeo and the Blues to get Jake traded by the deadline for someone who’ll flounder in the playoffs so he can go to his sister-in-law’s wedding.
What this boils down to is an opportunity for Allen to get his head on straight. It’s concerning that this is the second season in a row where he’s had these problems. I don’t know if pressure is getting to him or if he’s not handling Hutton getting the coach’s confidence well or what the deal is. Whatever the problem, Allen needs to fix it. He’s the starter and he needs to play like it. When he’ll next get the chance to is anybody’s guess.