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Allen confident he's ready to be Blues' No. 1 goalie

Feels he's prepared for more ice time after Elliott's trade to Flames

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- From a technical standpoint, this summer will be no different than any other for St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen.

He'll continue working with David Alexander, the goalie and video coach for Syracuse of the American Hockey League who has been a mentor during Allen's career.

But it will be a summer of different expectations and aspirations for Allen. After sharing time in net with Brian Elliott the past two seasons, Allen, 25, will be the undisputed No. 1 goaltender in St. Louis after Elliott was traded to the Calgary Flames on June 24.

"I feel like I'm ready," Allen said. "I feel I've gotten better every year that I've played since I turned pro at 20 years old. I feel like I've gotten better each year. I feel like this is going to be a real good opportunity for me to showcase what I can do, and I'm looking forward to it.

Video: SJS@STL, Gm5: Allen denies Couture on the doorstep

"It's unfortunately the nature of our business and it's sad for me to see [Elliott] go. I couldn't ask for a better person and better partner to be with for the first couple years of my NHL career. I wish him the most success in Calgary. I know he'll have a lot of success there. He's a great goalie and they're getting one coming their way."

Allen was 26-15-3 with a 2.35 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and six shutouts in 47 games this season. But he missed time twice because of lower-body injuries, including late in the regular season. That led to Elliott starting the Stanley Cup Playoffs in goal and playing the majority of the games as the Blues reached Game 6 of the Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks. Allen played five games, including two starts, and went 1-1 with a 2.49 GAA and .897 save percentage.

Elliott leaves as the Blues leader in shutouts (25), and among goalies to play at least 50 games for St. Louis, he has the best goals-against average (2.01) and save percentage (.925). But Allen is confident he can follow in Elliott's footsteps.

"That's what you play for. You want to be the guy," Allen said. "You want to be the guy even if you lose 10-0 one night and they put you right back in the next night and they have all the confidence and faith in you. I think that's when I play my best. I play my best hockey when I play and I know I'm the guy.

Video: STL@SJS, Gm4: Allen makes a nice pad save

"I'm looking forward to that challenge. It's not going to be easy. There's still going to be bumps in the road. But I feel the work I've put in throughout my career, not just in the NHL but since I strapped on the pads, it's going to pay off. Hopefully I have a good summer this year and I come into training camp on a positive and exciting note."

General manager Doug Armstrong told the Blues website negotiations have begun on a new contract for Allen, who is entering the final season of a two-year contract with an average annual value of $2.35 million, according to generalfanager.com. He can become a restricted free agent after the 2016-17 season.

"He's the goalie of today and the future," Armstrong said. 

Allen said, "I want to be part of the Blues for a long time. That's my objective, my goal since I was drafted. I think I'm on the right foot right now. I think we have a great core and have the potential to be real good for a long time. Not many teams can say that. We're fortunate to have that."

Allen won't have to wait long to face Elliott. The Blues play at the Flames on Oct. 22 and then play in St. Louis on Oct. 25.

"It'll be a little weird, but it'll be fun," Allen said. "You've got to have fun in this game. If you don't, something's wrong. There's going to be some fun competition. I think it'll be enjoyable to play him a couple times a year in Calgary and in St. Louis."

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