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Jake Allen of Blues gets advice from legend

Gets vote of confidence from St. Louis assistant GM, NHL's all-time wins leader, Martin Brodeur

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Jake Allen was back at practice Monday, three days after St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong announced that the struggling goalie would not accompany the team to play the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday in order to reset.

Allen had the chance to speak to Blues assistant general manager Martin Brodeur, who holds the NHL record for wins by a goalie (691) and spent all but seven of his 1,266 regular season games with the New Jersey Devils during his 22-year career.

"Just some goalie talk," Allen said of his conversation with Brodeur. "Nice to bounce it off someone. You talk to [backup goalie Carter Hutton] and [Blues goalie coach Jim Corsi], but to bounce some stuff off an experienced goalie is pretty awesome. ... You talk to a lot of people, but this is something you figure out yourself. People can help so much, but this is all on you and something you figure out on your own."

Allen, who has been pulled in each his past three starts (and four of the past six), allowing 10 goals on 36 shots with a .722 save percentage, got a workout in on Saturday to keep his legs going and skated on Sunday.

Brodeur offered positive sentiments to Allen.

"I just kind of told him to keep his head up, that's it," Brodeur said. "I didn't really sit down or have a conversation with him about what's going on. The more people that talk to him, the tougher it gets, so I didn't want to be too much involved. I'm in the back here watching everything going on, but you care because it's what I used to do.

"In my own career, I've been through it and my organization always had my back. That's what [Armstrong] and [Blues coach Ken Hitchcock] and all the players are doing, they're trying to help him out through this. We're all in the same boat here, everybody wants for him and for us to have success. So when something like this happens, the support has to be there."

Video: CAR@STL: Allen shuts the door on Aho's break in 2nd

Allen is 17-12-3 with a 2.85 goals-against average, which ranks 35th in the League and .897 save percentage, which ranks 45th in the League. Since starting the season 14-4-3, Allen has gone 3-8-0 with a 3.85 goals-against average and an .872 save percentage.

The Blues are 23-19-5 and on the bubble of the Stanley Cup Playoffs picture and goaltending hasn't been the only issue. But Allen, who signed a four-year, $17.4 million contract extension on July 1, a week after the Blues traded Brian Elliott to the Calgary Flames, says he is to blame.

"I have no problem with taking the heat," Allen said. "It's always sometimes you get more of the brunt of it as a goalie as (being) the last line of defense, but in this situation, I have no problem with it. I should be the backbone of this team and I haven't been. A lot of it falls on my shoulders letting the guys down in many situations not giving them chances to win, but this is a weekend where I (sat) back, I (relaxed), I (enjoyed) it, I didn't think of a puck for a couple days and came back today I felt really good in the net."

Hitchcock, who said Hutton will get the start Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, ROOT, NHL.TV), will bring Allen back for the game Thursday at the Minnesota Wild (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV) if all goes according to plan.

"We get another [technical] work load on Jake tomorrow, then we'll get a game work load on Wednesday with Jake and then he'll be ready to go for Thursday and that's the plan providing that we see the same improvement that we saw yesterday and today on the tech workload on Jake," Hitchcock said.

Video: BOS@STL: Allen cuts down angle to snag Chara's shot

Brodeur said Allen will be better for having gone through these struggles.

"He's got to get himself thinking that, 'I'm just going to go out and leave everything out there,'" Brodeur said. "He's good enough, he's talented enough, he's got a great technique to fall back on. It's just a matter of repetition and getting it done.

"For me, everything is in his own hands. He's the one that's going to come out. We can't do it for him. We're just going to help him to get himself the best peace of mind possible. We've talked to him and we do have a lot of faith him, so I don't think that should be a concern for him going forward. If that was a doubt that he had in his mind, well, that's disappeared now because I think we were pretty clear about that."

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