Let’s Play What If

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Former Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen should be on the Blues radar as an emergency option to fill the nets.

This afternoon, news came out that Blues goalie Jake Allen is afflicted with back spasms, and will be out of action 10-14 days.

Not the news you want to hear right before training camp will start. A lot rests on Allen’s shoulders this season. A lot of attention is focused on him, as other roster questions have been answered. Jake has been prone to mid-season slumps, the kind that do serious harm to a team’s playoff push.

Now, 10-14 days doesn’t sound too serious. If that’s all it is, then he should be back for the latter half of camp, hopefully in time to get in game shape. Until then, Chad Johnson and prospect Ville Husso will fill in.

Actually, this is a terrific opportunity for Husso to bid for backup work this season, and reinforce his future with the Blues.

But, let’s suppose that Allen is on the shelf for longer. Like, a lot longer. Like, half a season’s kind of longer. The Blues could be in the position of having to get help, quickly.

I was curious, so I did a Google search of goalies that are still free agents. I landed on one notable name.

Kari Lehtonen.

It’s a mystery why Lehtonen is still unsigned, with the 2018-19 season about to start. His career numbers are very respectable. One reason, perhaps the biggest one, is his work in the playoffs. In 19 games played, he has allowed 3 or  more goals in 12 of those games.

And the Blues have serious playoff aspirations this year. They in fact hung one of Lehtonen’s worst playoff performances on him in 2016, when he allowed 3 goals on 8 shots. That makes for an unsightly .625 save percentage.

But he could be an adequate fill-in, if Allen misses a lot of time, and Chad Johnson does not impress.

I think it’s interesting to think about.



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