It’s a bad time for goalkeepers, admits Jake Allen
As of Thursday morning, according to the NHL.com site, 22 of the 32 clubs (68.8%) posted an average of 3 or more goals scored per game since the start of the campaign. The Canadian found himself just below this threshold, at 2.96 goals per game.
In Montreal, this trend is no stranger to the arrival of Martin St-Louis at the helm of the team last season. He broke away from the club’s long tradition of relying on effective defensive play. Price partly explained this trend.
The former Tampa Bay Lightning star readily admits that his team is now focused on offense, but that doesn’t stop him from acknowledging that he still has work to do on defense.
I know we have an attacking style, but at what cost? What do we have to concede in return? It’s a balance, something we try to work on. I believe that the more we improve defensively, the more we can then improve offensively. And I find that we are starting to improve in these two facetsSt. Louis said after Thursday morning’s practice.
We don’t want to tell Jake (Allen): « Don’t worry, if you give up four (goals), it’s because of our style of play. » It’s not just Jake’s faulthe pointed out.
Allen, himself, is seeing changes in the approach of teams across the league.
I watch a lot of games, and I see that most teams bet on the run and gun (breathless game focused mainly on the attack). There are still a few clubs that are defensively oriented, physical oriented, but even those are starting to embrace this new trend. So I would say most teams play the samementioned the New Brunswicker.
This reality is particularly exacerbated by the formidable efficiency of the power play in the Bettman circuit. Twenty-five of the 32 NHL teams (78.1%) have an efficiency rate above 20%. The CH is 30th, at 16.3%, and St-Louis believes he knows why this is so.
The talent level in the league is much higher today. There’s stick technology, player creativity, concepts. It’s all modern. The 1-3-1 (game pattern) explains that too, although it’s not as consistent as it was when it came out. There is more movement in the 1-3-1, and the movement creates confusion, which is difficult to counterhe added.
Power play patterns vary a lot, Allen said. Players are not static. And when there is movement, then it creates chaos for the defending team.
In this sense, he expected to be in greater demand in 2022-2023, in particular because of the many changes that were made to the Bleu-blanc-rouge defensive brigade during the summer. But never to this extent.
» I discussed it with a few other goalies in the league recently. You know, I came to this league in 2011, and between then and now, I don’t even know how to describe how much the league has changed. It’s probably for the best, from a business and fan show standpoint. But for a goalkeeper, it’s another story. »
I’ve never seen such a fast, east-west game. No one is spared from this. Usually at 3-1 in a game it was over. It still happens, but the game is so attack-oriented. It testifies to the quality of the young attackers in this league. And the NHL is constantly getting younger. I believe that in 15 or 20 years it will be a league dominated by players aged 18 to 24said Allen.
You will have to adapt. That’s our job. It will get harder and harder over the next few years, but it will also be very exciting. It will give us the opportunity to refine our game even morehe said.
As to whether this trend is bad for his stats, Allen didn’t mince words:
Statistics are not important.