Thursday, April 27, 2017

Jake Allen Shoulders Blame for Blues Game 1 Loss to Nashville

What a difference a few days makes. St. Louis netminder Jake Allen tumbled down to earth with a thud on Wednesday night, hurting his team's cause in their 4-3 loss to the Nashville Predators (see video above) by making this bad read and poke check attempt right before Vernon Fiddler nudged a loose puck between his legs to give the Predators the game-winning goal with 5:05 remaining in Game 1.

“Guys fought back great,” Allen said, according to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “A little mistake by me cost us.”

It was a rough moment at home for the Blues, who rode Allen to a 4-1 series victory over the Minnesota Wild in the first round. Allen stopped 174 of 182 shots in the five games against Minnesota. He stopped just 28 of 32 in Game 1 on Wednesday night.

Hindsight is 20-20. It also says that Allen would have been able to handle whatever Fiddler threw at him on that play if he did not go for the poke-check. Allen made a bad read, late in a game, and it cost his team a goal at a crucial time after they had battled back from 3-1 down to level the game in the third period.

If we're quick to praise Allen for all the great work he did in the Minnesota series, we have to call a spade a spade here.

But don't worry, his coach has Allen's back.

Mike Yeo appreciates his goalie's willingness to accept blame but told reporters that the Blues lost the game in the second period when they let Nashville take the game to them.

"I respect that he did that but he doesn't need to do that," said Yeo. "We dug ourselves a hole in that second period. ... the reality is the second period was not good enough and ultimately it cost us the game."

So, will Jake Allen return with his superman cape for Game 2? He's been one of the biggest stories of this year's playoffs, but there are many who are predicting that he will not be able to maintain his scorching-hot level.