Jake Allen is already off to a great start with the Montreal Canadiens, and we’ve already made plans for a Pro Reads video session highlighting some of those saves in his new uniform, but given how good he’s been in this format, we didn’t want to waste any of his previous tips.
Allen’s insights into the position are too valuable to discard, even if they come while wearing an outdated uniform, so we’ll continue with his seventh entry while with the St. Louis Blues. The Chicago Blackhawks have featured prominently as an opponent in those Pro Reads, and that continues today with this power play chance against his old Central Division rivals.
There are several parts to this power play sequence, starting with the puck being moved down by Patrick Kane above the face-off circle to Dylan Strome on his forehand at the bottom of the face-off circle on that same side. Allen elects to going into a traditional VH on the post:
What about the situation above do you think Allen identifies before making this decision? Can you take anything away from the defensive posture? Or the hand of the shooter?
A little later in that same power play, the pucks ends up back on Kane’s stick high in the zone but by this point Allen has lost his stick (watch the save video below to see what happened), and as the puck is again sent down to Strome on a bad angle, Allen uses reverse-VH.
What are some of the reasons you can see that would lead to reverse-VH in the situation above compared to using VH the first time Strome got the puck down low?
Any thoughts on why he might choose a shin-on-post integration for reverse-VH here?
Now let’s take a look at the entire sequence on video to find out how Allen lost his stick.
There’s a lot going on in that sequence, including a pretty wide open look for Kane in between those two sharp angles chances. Those of you who already read and remember Allen’s second Pro Reads, which involved staring down Kane from the faceoff circle, know the fact it’s Kane, a player Allen has faced so many times over the years, is an important factor in this equation, and Allen discusses how he played this chance – and the importance of his defense did too – so let’s listen in on that entire video review and breakdown with the former Blues goalie now:
As usual, Allen shares specific reasons for each of his sharp-angle save selections from those freeze frames above. See how many of his matched the cues that you picked up on:
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