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04-06-2013, 04:58 PM
2 Minute Minor
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Originally Posted by
Allen's been playing better, and Halak is out until the playoffs. So, I 'd go with Allen. His fundamentals are better, and he's been playing better. The only reason he's not been playing all but 2nd games in back-to-backs is that Hitch has some hesitation because he is a rookie with only a few games under his belt (too small a sample to bet the farm on him, as there is still no NHL scouting book on him). But, each game he plays well adds to the evidence that even Hitch must accept, that Allen gives the Blues a better chance to win than does Elliott 9on average).
I think that very soon, Hitch will need to make the decision to start Allen in every game against the toughest teams, and every game except one of the 2 back-to-backs.
This is exactly how I see it. However, I think Hitchcock was still giving Elliott room to re-assert himself. He's improved a lot from the abysmal start, and the win at Chicago was important for his career. But even during that win I thought he had some shaky moments. There isn't as much certainty and confidence from him as there is from Allen. (Although maybe Elliott can build on that game.)
I believe Allen will win the starting job, but it won't exactly be announced. He'll just get more starts until the playoffs, then be named the starter for game 1.
I'm just really not sure what they do with Halak. Say he is physically able to come back right around the start of the playoffs. Do you re-insert him into a playoff environment? Do you go with Allen (or possibly Elliott) until he falters, then consider Halak as Plan B? What gives you the best chance to win?
This is going to be tricky for the coaches, and I think Hitchcock has played it right. Allen basically saved the season by coming in and being "above average" and steady. He's steadily grown over his starts to the point where he has stolen a couple games the team didn't really play well enough to win. Neither Elliott nor Halak has done that this season (though both are capable of it).
Could Allen start through all the playoffs and take the Blues to a Cup? I think he would be a smaller question mark than the Backes line is.
Anyway, I suspect he's the guy that will get that role, unless Halak comes back much sooner, but that Hitchcock won't really make a big deal out of publicly naming him the starter (keeping the weight of responsibility more manageable and letting Allen just focus on the next game.)
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