DENVER • Goalie assists are uncommon enough – there have been six so far this season, two less than there have been hat tricks – that they hold a certain mystique to them.
Blues fans saw a beauty on Wednesday when Jake Allen banked a length-of-the-ice pass off the boards to a sprinting Jaden Schwartz for the goal that put the Blues up 2-0 in their eventual 5-2 win over the Blackhawks.
“If I didn’t get good wood on it, it could have been ugly,” Allen said.
Indeed, in the preseason Allen tried to make a play on a puck and turned it over, leading to a goal for Columbus and causing him to say afterward that he needs to stop trying to be Bobby Orr.
“(Brent) Seabrook pinched on it,” Allen said. “I don’t think he thought I would try to bypass him there. I just saw Schwartzie coming on the ice and I trie to put it in an area for him, and it got to him.
“The puck was coming real slow, so I had to chance to look around. It gave me a good chance.”
“It happened fast,” Schwartz said. “He did a great job of reading the play. Good heads-up play by him. I didn’t even know he passed it. I just hopped on the ice and the next thing you know it was on my tape. He’s obviously good at handling the puck and that helps us out.”
That gave us a case of, as James Joyce might have said, frozen aquacity, thinking about Blues goalies and assists. Herewith, a brief discussion:
• While it was Allen’s fourth NHL assist, it was his first primary assist. On the other goals, Allen passed it to someone, who then passed it on to the goalscorer.
• The assist moves him into a tie for sixth in team history with the legendary Yves Belanger (who played for the Blues sporadically in the late ’70s). His next would move him into a tie for third with Brent Johnson, Brian Elliott and Grant Fuhr, and Mike Liut looms slightly…