Carter Hutton’s stellar recent play has been a welcome treat, but Blues fans are also quick to worry we may have a “goalie controversy” on our hands.
This isn’t an absurd concern with the club having had several strong goalie duos over the years, which is usually a benefit. But it also becomes easy to worry about the top guy if the understudy starts playing out of his mind.
And Hutton has been ‘out of his mind’ good lately, registering among NHL leaders in goals-against average and save percentage, which isn’t too shabby for a guy referring to himself as a “career backup.” Mike Yeo knows Hutton’s on a heater right now, which is why No. 40 is getting a third consecutive start Thursday night vs. Vegas.
Jeremy Rutherford, our Blues insider and writer at The Athletic, recently talked the goaltending situation and Hutton’s league-leading stats on The Bernie Miklasz Show.
“I think it’s the right call. He’s played terrifically. He’s won a couple in a row. You look at the league leaders; (Hutton’s) 1.70 goals against average and a .944 save percentage leads the league,” JR said. “You have to have 12 starts and Carter’s been in there for a couple of relief appearances that have gotten him up to 12 starts. He’s barely making the threshold but, nonetheless, his numbers put him among the league leaders.”
Allen on Hutton starting third straight: “I had a talk with Yeosie, I’m fine with it. I’m happy with where my game is at. It was tough for me to find wins but I think I was playing pretty good hockey. (Hutton) is just playing … probably the best goalie in the league right now.”
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) January 4, 2018
Hutton’s got the hot hand right now, but Jake Allen will likely be between the pipes Saturday in Philly regardless of how Thursday’s game goes. JR added that while the net is Hutton’s right now, any recent Allen misfortune hasn’t been all his fault.
“They have gone out of their way the past couple years to say that Jake Allen is their number one,” JR said. “I think that’s where people are, I don’t want to say worried, but I think that’s where people say, ‘well, be careful here because if Jake’s your guy you don’t want to go to Carter too much.
“Mike Yeo has made it perfectly clear the past couple days that this is not an indictment on Jake Allen. They felt that he’s played pretty well. They went through a stretch there where they weren’t getting any goals. They weren’t getting any offense. It wasn’t the goaltending.
“But Carter, right now, is playing the best and they feel they’ll just stick with him and ride that out.”
Stay tuned to 101ESPN and 101Sports.com for plenty more Blues talk and analysis as we and the team try and cruise through winter.