Because desperate times call for desperate measures, the Blues’ latest roster move should come as no surprise.
Shaky goaltending has St. Louis in a downward spiral, and with points at a premium in the NHL, this is no time for the team to sit on its hands as a playoff spot slips away. To give Ken Hitchcock an additional option in goal, the Blues announced Friday they have recalled goaltender Pheonix Copley from the Chicago Wolves (AHL).
Jake Allen’s slump reached a new low in Thursday’s 7-3 loss to the Capitals. And while Carter Hutton had a couple strong games on the west coast last week, he has shown to be more effective in short spurts–he hasn’t shown the capacity to thrive in a full-time role.
Though Hitchcock said “there’s no help wagon coming,” after Thursday’s loss, Copley could provide an alternative to keep the Blues afloat until Allen can again confidently handle his duties in net.
Is Pheonix Copley the answer? The 25-year-old has only ever appeared in one NHL game in his career, but has fared well in the minors the season to the tune of a .920 save-percentage and an 11-4-2 record.
For the immediate future–the Blues play an afternoon contest in Winnipeg Saturday–St. Louis may be rolling with Hutton or Copley. According to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said Jake Allen would not make the trip with the team to Winnipeg. While Armstrong voiced commitment to Allen as the long-term goaltender–he signed Allen to a four-year, $17.4 million contract before the season–leaving him home for the trip up to Canada is another opportunity for him to regroup mentality after his recent worrisome play.
#stlblues will consider starting Copley tomorrow but haven't made up their mind.— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) January 20, 2017
Copley was present at Friday’s practice, and with the news that Allen won’t travel with the team, it could make sense for him to see the ice right away.
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