Thursday night in St. Louis, the Washington Capitals routed the Blues 7-3 and something strange happened. Goaltender Jake Allen was pulled twice in the same game.
Now, after a terrible January, Blues GM Doug Armstrong has announced that Allen is not traveling with the team to Winnipeg. The Capitals literally broke the man.
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“I don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said after practice on Friday. “Jake is not going to join us on the trip to Winnipeg. We’re going to give him a day to reset. … Jake’s struggling right now and I made a decision last night that I think taking a day away, and getting a total reset, he could get a reset traveling with the team, but I wanted a complete reset and then we come back on Sunday, he’s back in the net and he’s ready to go. To me it’s not a huge story; he’s going to take a day to get a reset with his family, he just had a young baby, but the play needs to improve and I want to give him a fresh start.”
Armstrong added that he’s “not naive” and understood Allen was going through a “tough stretch.”
That would actually be underselling it. Allen hasn’t made it past the second period since January 5th. After having the best save percentage from their goaltenders last season, the Blues are dead last in 2016-17.
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) January 20, 2017
But here’s the thing. The Capitals have dominated every goaltender who has been in net lately – regardless of their pedigree.
The Caps forced former Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky to be pulled, ending Columbus’s nearly record-setting winning streak at 16 games. Monday, the Caps put up a seven-spot on Matt Murray, the goaltender who led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup last season.
The Caps have been scoring at will. According to Caps PR, Washington has scored 20 more goals than any other team since December 31.
Hopefully Jake gets the reset he needs and doesn’t beat himself up too much about his outing last night.
Now here’s the fun part. In the corresponding roster move, the Blues called up goaltender Pheonix Copley from the AHL. The Blues acquired Copley from the Capitals in the TJ Oshie trade two seasons ago. This will be Copley’s second stint with the team – albeit, likely a short one.
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