Interview: Blues Goalie Jake Allen

[Photo by Mark Buckner / St. Louis Blues]
After a remarkable 2013-14 season, Jake Allen earned a spot on the St. Louis Blues. [Photo by Mark Buckner / St. Louis Blues]

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen has assembled quite the resume in his relatively young career. The Fredericton, New Brunswick native helped the Canadian Under-18 Team win the gold medal in 2008, and was named the tournament’s MVP. His showing was impressive enough for the Blues to draft him in the second round of that year’s NHL Entry Draft. Two years later, Allen won the Jacques Plante Memorial Trophy as the top goalie in the QMJHL. He was also named the CHL Goaltender of the Year as the best goalie in major junior hockey.

In the 2012-13 season, Allen was called up by the St. Louis Blues, playing in 15 games. His nine wins, one shutout and 2.45 goals-allowed average in the lockout-shortened season netted him a spot on the 2013 NHL All-Rookie Team. The next year, Allen won the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the American Hockey League’s top goaltender, when he led the league in goals against average (2.03), wins (33), save percentage (0.928%) and shutouts (7). His remarkable play earned him the backup role with the St. Louis Blues this year.

I recently spoke with Allen about his blossoming career, the differences between playing in the NHL and AHL and what goes through his mind during a shootout.

Sal Barry: What is your earliest memory of playing hockey?

Jake Allen: Putting on the pads for the first time. It was a great feeling, something that was meant to be. Putting those big pads on is something I’ll never forget. Continue reading “Interview: Blues Goalie Jake Allen”

Gamers’ fondest memories of NHL ’94

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The classic-era video game NHL ’94 celebrates its 20th anniversary this season, and remains as popular as ever. Originally released for Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Sega CD and PC computers, NHL ’94 is still enjoyed by gamers today. This year’s release by Electronic Arts, NHL ’14, even included an “NHL ’94 Mode” that let’s players experience the run-and-gun style of the old game.

But some gamers still seek out the old-school, pixelated experience. Using emulation software, many play head-to-head via the internet in online leagues hosted by the website NHL94.com. Several of these gamers who still live and breathe NHL ’94 today share their fondest memories of the game. Continue reading “Gamers’ fondest memories of NHL ’94”

Interview: Upper Deck’s Chris Carlin talks about National Hockey Card Day

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National Hockey Card Day is just around the corner–February 9 in Canada and February 16 in the United States. Recently, I spoke with Chris Carlin, Sports Marketing and Social Media Manager for Upper Deck. Chris answered some questions about NHCD for 2013, including autographs and collation improvements. Continue reading “Interview: Upper Deck’s Chris Carlin talks about National Hockey Card Day”