Twin Cities and St. Louis media agreed on one thing Thursday morning: Goalie Jake Allen stole Game 1 for the Blues. Allen’s 51 saves led St. Louis to a 2-1 overtime victory over the Wild at Xcel Energy Center.
St. Louis Dispatch columnist Benjamin Hochman considered the performance superhuman.
“Jake Allen had the characteristics of a regular person, but mere humans just don't save 51 shots on the road in a playoff game,” Hochman wrote. “The extraordinary was extraterrestrial, the superb was superhuman.”
Blues coach Mike Yeo told the St. Louis media he was having trouble describing Allen’s efforts even though Yeo knew it was going to be the first question he received after the game.
So Hochman took the liberty of answering for Yeo by writing, “Well, here's a way to describe it: The Blues didn't deserve to win, but the play of one Blue made up for the mediocre play of the other 18.
“If they play like this again, they'll lose. … No team should play that bad and steal a win, let alone a playoff win, let alone a playoff road win. But your St. Louis Blues, with an unsustainable brand of hockey and an insatiable stack of house money, won a game thanks to St. Louis' Allen, who made more saves than Jason Isringhausen or an exiting president granting pardons.”
The Wild played like it was on a 40-minute power play in the second and third periods, Hochman proclaimed. But Allen might have saved the series for the Blues, he concluded.
St. Louis Dispatch hockey beat writer Jeremy Rutherford led his story with Joel Edmundson’s winning goal, but after getting through the details of how the game ended, he turned his attention to Allen.
“The answer Wednesday was Allen,” Rutherford wrote describing who won the battle between two of the league’s best goalies.
“The Blues were outshot 52-26 and nearly skated away with a shutout,” Rutherford wrote. “They would have if not for a goal from Minnesota's Zach Parise with 24 seconds left in regulation that sent the game into overtime. But Allen remained remarkable in OT, helping them escape”
St. Louis 101ESPN reporter Chris Files wrote “On the shoulders of their brick wall of a goaltender, the Blues won the first game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs round one. Jake Allen stopped a whopping 51 shots.”
The Fan 590’s Ryan Kelly The Morning After show kicked off by also saying the Blues stole Game 1 after the Wild dominated with 52 shots on goal.
Bleedin’ Blue Fansided writer Todd Panula wrote “The St. Louis Blues gave us agony and ecstasy all in one night and in the span of an hour or so. The Blues managed to pull off the upset in game one in rather unorthodox style.”