File this one under ‘yeah, we know,’ but it appears Jake Allen is under a bit of pressure for the 2018-19 Blues season.
This isn’t a secret, as the Note net-netminder has had shaky midseason spells to say the least the past two years, and the club doesn’t have a Carter Hutton to fall back on anymore. That’s not to say Chad Johnson isn’t a solid backup, but he’s a backup. It’d be asking a lot for him to take the reigns between the pipes.
Allen will attempt to overcome his December-January-February doldrums with possibly the most solid team he’s had in front of him in his career, which either lightens or piles on the pressure depending on one’s point of view. The Blues should be able to score and defend, but will they have a solid backstop?
ESPN hockey writer Greg Wyshynski points to these facts as what makes or breaks your St. Louis Blues this season.
“It’s no secret that this season will live or die on the pads and stick and blocker of Jake Allen,” Wyshynski tells ‘The Kevin Wheeler Show.’
“That’s the full equation. The forward spot’s good and deep. The defense is good and deep. I like the way they play. I think it’s going to gel together well. Tarasenko’s still a goal-scoring machine, but if they don’t have Jake Allen performing to the level of a franchise goaltender, which is what he projected to be; if you have another situation where he needs to take a week off to get his head straight and have Chad Johnson carrying the ball for five or six games; you just can’t have that.
“You can’t have it in the regular season and you certainly can’t have it in the playoffs. That’s the margin right now: Can Jake Allen be the guy for a team that otherwise looks like it has potential championship aspirations.”
You can hear all of Wyshynski’s chat below. Stay connected with 101 ESPN for plenty of Blues coverage and chatter as the regular season opener approaches.