Jake Allen set the record straight last trip, and credit must go to Martin St-Louis, who reaffirmed that Allen is his number one goaltender even as he struggles.
struggles, especially after a 7-2 loss at Buffalo on Nov. 22.
St. Louis really has the talent, and he’s gotten good advice from goaltending coach Eric Raymond and probably others in the organization. With Samuel Montembelt having his best moments and Allen struggling, the Canadian coach never expressed the slightest doubt about his 32-year-old veteran goalkeeper.
Allen paid it back, notably in Thursday’s impressive 2-1 win in Calgary and Tuesday’s 4-2 win in Seattle. Montembeault came close to the No. 1 spot, but after Monday’s 7-6 overtime loss in Vancouver, the picture was clearer than ever. Allen is a St. Louis confidant.
A turning point
There are certain moments in a season that become turning points for a goalkeeper and it can happen in October, December or March. In Allen’s case, it did. He was in a bad spot and St-Louis believed in him and to my surprise reconfirmed him as number one.
Allen thanked him with performances worthy of that level.
Every situation is different, but it reminds me of my 2007-08 season in Colorado. I was on an alternating system with Peter Budaj until the holidays and went to see coach Joel Quenneville. I said I was fine and it would be better if I played more often.
I was asked to play more than half time and he challenged me. From that moment I played 39 of the last 42 games and he never looked back. I put my head…