Martin St-Louis still confident in Allen despite Montembeault success
BROSSARD | Martin St-Louis deviated from his own philosophy by confirming the identity of his starting goalkeeper the day before a game. Jake Allen will return to action for the visit of the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday at the Bell Centre.
Asked if he had juggled the possibility of offering a third straight start to Samuel Montembeault to see what he had in mind, St-Louis offered a categorical answer.
“Sam had earned his two starts in a row. He gave two very good matches. But like I said before, Jake is our number one keeper and he's the one playing tomorrow (Tuesday night). »
Montembeault continued his good work by posting 3-1 wins over the Blue Jackets on Wednesday in Columbus and 3-2 in the shootout on Friday in Chicago.
good for me, mentioned Montembeault. I worked hard this summer to come to camp ready. I talked about consistency as the main challenge for me. I've said it many times, but I want to keep delivering consistent returns. »
“I was happy to win my two games,” he continued. I was happy to see that the coach trusted me for two games in a row. »
At 26, Montembeault now has more experience. He is no longer a young wolf who simply aspires to cling to a place in the NHL. He also has a one-way deal for this season and next year at a modest $1 million salary.
But despite his recent success, the former Florida Panthers is keeping both good on earth.
“I try not to break my head too much and I have the chance to play in front of teammates who do a very good job, he underlined. They block multiple shots and they make my life easier. When your teammates are working this hard, you want to help them win games. »
“I also like the game of our young defenders, they play good hockey. I probably see it a little more since I pretty much always play Game 2 of a two-in-two-night series. They remain the same defenders.
Allen remains number one in the eyes of St. Louis and team management. The 32-year-old goalkeeper signed a two-year, $7.7 million (3.85 million per year) contract extension last October 1.
The Habs will therefore give him every chance to bounce back. But strictly statistically, Montembeault has had the advantage since the start of the year. The Quebecer has an average of 2.48 and an efficiency rate of .924, compared to 3.61 and .891 for the New Brunswicker.
Allen however lost a game 7 to 2 against the Sabers, a thaw that helped boost his statistics.
In November, the numbers speak even louder. Among goaltenders who have played a minimum of five games, Allen sits 46th out of 50 masked men listed with an .877 save percentage. Montembeault, meanwhile, ranks 13th with a record of .919.