CHICAGO | Martin St-Louis is not one to reveal his plans. Which is a good thing in itself, since in case of modification, no need to formulate an explanation.
Except that, since the beginning of the calendar, we have understood that that he applies to his goalkeepers: two thirds of the work is entrusted to Jake Allen, against a third for Samuel Montembeault.
Now we are at a quarter of the season. And it is clear that Montembeault offers better performances than his teammate, especially for some time.
In each of his four most recent outings, Allen has posted a sub-.900 save percentage. He has allowed at least four goals in five of his last six games.
In return, Montembeault has offered only one poor performance in seven starts. It was last week in Columbus, a game in which he allowed five goals. ), it's hard to forget,” said Montembault on Wednesday.
We cannot put this better outfit on the back of a weaker opposition. On three occasions, Montembeault faced an attack that is in the top 10 of the circuit against five times for Allen. The difference is small.
Furthermore, of his seven appearances in net, three have been in the team's second game in 24 hours, a situation never ideal for a goalkeeper. given the level of fatigue of his teammates.
Wednesday evening, in this situation, in Columbus, the Bécancourois was sparkling.
In the Canadian's locker room, we were unanimous: he was the one who made the difference. Even the head coach of the Canadiens abounded in this direction.
File to follow
If we rely on the trend observed since the start of the campaign, Allen is expected to face the Blackhawks on Friday afternoon in Chicago. Only once this fall has Montembeault got two consecutive starts.
On October 17, two days after facing the Capitals, he was sent into the fray to take on the Penguins. Allen then had to leave to join his wife who had just given birth to the couple's third child.
That said, Montembeault's recent outfit was enough to encourage St-Louis to revise his plan? He remained evasive when the author of these lines asked him the question on Wednesday evening.
“Yes, performance can change the plan, but we will think about that on the road. For now, we're savoring tonight's victory [Wednesday],” he was content to reply. It was possible to know the identity of the goalkeeper starting on Friday afternoon.
It's been talked about a few times already since the start of the season, but Montembeault's outfit is 100 leagues from what it was last year.
“Monty has been excellent since the start of the season. Every time he's in goal, he gives us confidence. He makes the stops at the right time. That's all you ask of a goaltender, “said Kirby Dach after the victory in Columbus.
This is very different from last year. His shaky outfit, possibly made worse by the wrist injury he dragged on for a good part of the season, made his teammates nervous in front of him.
In fact, this first outing in Columbus is the only time, since the start of the campaign, where Montembeault allowed at least three goals in a match. On Allen's side, it happened on seven occasions in 13 starts.
Comparison between the two goalies
File: Allen → 6-7 -0 | Montembeault → 4-2-1
Average: Allen → 3.61 | Montembeault → 2.57
Efficiency rate: Allen → .891 | Montembeault → .922
Games with 3 or more goals against: Allen → 7 | Montembeault → 1