Friday night, Jake Allen was fresh off of his first NHL start and first NHL win, a 4-3 overtime victory against the Detroit Red Wings. Jaden Schwartz and Patrik Berglund had given him a 2-0 lead against the Calgary Flames to work with, but it very nearly became a 2-1 lead. "Very nearly," because this happened:
Poor T.J. Brodie. Here he is, expecting an easy empty net goal, and Allen stones him. Said Allen after the game, to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jeremy Rutherford:
“I sort of saw (Brodie) out of the corner of my eye and I didn’t have much of a chance to get back over,” Allen said. “Anytime you’re in that desperate situation, you just try to throw something in front of the puck. Fortunately enough for me, I got a piece of it, and even better it popped right up and could catch it.”
Even the description is the definition of "eh, no big shake." If it would have been some sort of panicked save, it wouldn't have been nearly as amazing, and it may not have been so inspiring for the team. Shortly afterward, Alex Steen scored to put the Blues up 3-0 en route to a 5-2 win.
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I've played goal, admittedly in a completely amateur, low-level manner, but what really gets me about this save isn't so much the stick luck with the initial deflection of the shot, but the controlled manner in which he calmly snaps it out of the air to finish it off.
Goalie stick luck can be an interesting thing, and frustrating as heck for a shooter. Saves with the knob, for instance, on what would be a goal 99.9% of the time. Makes a great story, but just don't go counting on it. heh