ST. LOUIS -- It was an injury-riddled season for Blues goalie Jake Allen.
After being given the reigns to be the goalie in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Allen came into the 2015-16 as the guy to finally settle in as the No. 1 goalie.
But a knee injury in January followed by another lower-body injury late in the regular season kept Allen from playing the bulk of the games, and Brian Elliott was given the opportunity to be the goalie of the playoffs, and he helped the Blues to the Western Conference Final.
|Blues goalie Jake Allen|
Allen, 25, did backstop the Blues to a Game 4 win at San Jose in the conference final but lost in Game 5 in his only two starts and was able to put up a 26-15-3 regular season (a career-high in wins) with a 2.35 goals-against average and .920 save percentage. He didn't dwell on the injuries and only spoke highly of what the team accomplished as a whole and was glad to be a part of it:
We had an amazing year. A lot of this locker room will be back next year and we now know how hard it is to win.
On losing to San Jose:
Momentum, everyone gelling together, playing on one page. They were just a team that was very much in sync. Everything was in constant motion in the right way, tough to beat. Pittsburgh's going to have their work cut out for them.
Would it be weird if Backes wasn't back?
Yeah, it would feel weird. Ever since I've been drafted, he's been here and he's been the leader of this team for a long time on and off the ice. Just such a great guy. He's so involved in the city, not even with the Blues, different organizations as well. It would be tough not seeing him back here. I really hope he's back here and still the captain of our team.
Why was this group in particular as close as it was on and off the ice?
It was a great year. I think even last year, we had a great team. With the new additions we had, we gelled even more. It was such a fun year for us. Even though we came up a little bit short, it was so fun. It was a whirlwind of a ride. We just clicked. We had a great group and I hope the majority of the boys are back.
What's the feeling like when you make it this far being so close after the past disappointments?
This isn't a disappointment at all. We've taken a huge step here. Making it to the conference finals, playing against a team that's going to be real tough to beat in the Stanley Cup Final. We have nothing to hang our heads about. We laid it all out there and from myself to the coaching staff, we did everything we possible could. We know how hard it is to win now. You see Marty (Brodeur) and he's got a few Cups under his belt and he was always saying how tough it was to win and now we've came close, but we realize we have more work to do.
What will you remember from this season?
It was a great season for us. We had ups and downs, adversity and injuries. It was roller coaster ride. To be able to do what we did was pretty impressive. To be able to survive this season the way we did, I think with the lineups that we had was really amazing. We're close. Not satisfied for sure, but I'm still proud.