St Louis Blues

Jake Allen imitated Tuukka Rask to provide Blues with insight during Cup Final

Jake Allen imitated Tuukka Rask to provide Blues with insight during Cup Final

While St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen didn't get to play in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, he helped his team the only way he knew how...

By imitating Tuukka Rask.

"I'd try to act like Rask, skate like Rask, and try to imitate what he does that is different," Allen said, according to NHL.com's Kevin Woodley. "Just the way he holds himself and how low he looks, but his chest is forward and a lot of little things he does specific to his game. We'd go back on all the goals he let in, find tendencies, and try to imitate them to show guys a few clips that Dave could voice over and I'd be in net. ... We broke it down in very layman's terms, so I think everyone understood."

The whole idea of mimicking Rask was to provide the Blues with useful information beyond just watching video of the Boston Bruins goaltender. 

"You're looking at guys that play completely opposite styles of game, sizes, techniques, gear," Allen said. "So, I said, 'Why don't we try to implement something where we can show the boys what this guy does compared to that guy and ways we can potentially score?' The optical illusion each of those guys have, that they look bigger than they are in certain positions, is different in the net and I think that's what we were trying to create from an understanding standpoint for the players. If it caused a goal or two in the playoffs, then we did our job."

Allen was a big part of the Blues' goaltending situation before Jordan Binnington arrived. Brayden Schenn and Ryan O'Reilly found it especially helpful -- as they are two of St. Louis' best goal scorers. 

Schenn said he'd never seen anything like it, and it helped him understand Rask's tendencies. O'Reilly said it didn't make the series, but helped the team immensely in preparation for each game. 

Through the first three rounds --17 playoff games -- Rask had a .942 save percentage, in the Cup Final it dropped to .912. While the team in front of him was solid defensively, they failed to tally goals when it mattered, particularly in Game 7. 

So, it seems Allen's mimicry worked -- but it probably wasn't the reason why the Blues won the Stanley Cup. The B's did push the series to seven games, after all. 

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Leveling the playing field? Vladimir Tarasenko out for Blues vs. Bruins

Leveling the playing field? Vladimir Tarasenko out for Blues vs. Bruins

The Boston Bruins most likely will be without David Krejci Saturday due to an upper-body injury, but the St. Louis Blues also will be without a key member of their lineup. 

Vladimir Tarasenko sustained an upper-body injury Thursday in St. Louis' game against the Los Angeles Kings and is not traveling with the team to Boston, according to the Blues.

The 27-year-old is second on the Blues with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) through the team's first 10 games of the season, trailing Brayden Schenn by only a point. Tarasenko played a major role in the Blues' 2019 Stanley Cup victory, tallying three goals and one assist through seven games against the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final. He notched 17 points (11 goals, six assists) through 26 total playoff games. 

With Tarasenko out, the Blues will look a bit different from the last time the B's saw them in June. Patrick Maroon joined the Tampa Bay Lightning on a one-year deal and Joel Edmundson was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for Justin Faulk. Outside of those changes, though, St. Louis will roll out a similar lineup to the squad that beat Boston in June

The B's host the Blues on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET before heading to New York to face the Rangers Sunday.

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