I’m sharing this article from Chris Pinkert who writes for the “Blues Overtime Blog.” A great piece on tonight’s starting goalies. Jake Allen of the Blues and St. Louis native and Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop. They were teammates in the AHL playing for the Peoria Rivermen.
Now, they face each other for the first time. These two buddies who still get together each summer will be playing for personal bragging rights.
Allen said this on Bishop. “He taught me a lot as a young guy.”
Bishop when asked about Allen. “He’s a good kid, I kind of watched him grow through his career from Day 1.”
Here’s Pinkert’s full blog:
Long-time teammates and close friends Jake Allen and Ben Bishop are looking forward to squaring off for the first time tonight when the Blues host the Eastern Conference Champion Tampa Bay Lightning at 7 p.m. at Scottrade Center.
Allen and Bishop shared the goaltending duties with the AHL’s Peoria Rivermen for two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12) back when the Rivermen served as the Blues’ AHL affiliate. The Chicago Wolves took over that role in 2013.
“It’s going to be fun to play against Bish,” Allen said after today’s morning skate. “We’re good buddies and we see each other every summer. He taught me a lot as a young guy, but it’s going to be fun to go up against him tonight. Hopefully I come out on top and get some bragging rights this summer, and maybe he’ll owe me a dinner or two.”
Three seasons ago, the Blues’ had a surplus of talented goaltenders with Jaroslav Halak, Brian Elliott, Bishop and Allen in the system, so the club traded Bishop to Ottawa in February 2012. Fast forward three seasons later, Allen is putting together a solid career for himself at the NHL level while Bishop helped the Lightning make a long run in the postseason last year.
“It’ll be fun,” Bishop said of playing against Allen for the first time. “He’s a good kid, I kind of watched him grow through his career from Day 1 in Peoria and had a chance to play with him (there). We’re still close friends. It’ll be a lot of fun to go against him.
“There will be no friends tonight. I don’t think you’ll see us meeting at center ice (after the game),” Bishop added. “We’re both trying to win the game, and he’s a really good goalie so I’m going to have to play well to beat him.”
The Lightning currently sit second in the Atlantic Division with 12 points (5-2-2), so the Blues definitely expect a tough test themselves, especially playing without Jaden Schwartz (ankle), Paul Stastny (broken foot) and Kevin Shattenkirk (lower-body).
“It’s going to be a real good test. You look at the forward lineup, actually the whole team from Bish right out, they have a pretty impressive lineup,” Allen said. “(They’re a) skilled, fast team. If we’re not on our toes, they’re going to make us look silly. We know we have our work cut out for us tonight.
“It’s going to be a good challenge and we’ll see where we’re at.”