There may not be hockey at Houston Field House these days, but Allen York is making sure RPI fans still have something to get excited about!
Allen was in net for the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets for his second straight start Friday night and earned his second straight NHL win. He stopped 30 of 31 shots, including six that came during 1:40 of 5-on-3, and earned high praise from the commentators over and over again. Okay, they were Blue Jackets commentators this time, and impressing them is probably a bit easier than impressing the NBC announcers was on Wednesday night, but I think Yorkie would have gotten high marks no matter who was doing the talking this time.
They spoke often of how calm and steady he was in net, but when the final buzzer went he definitely abandoned the cool and collected pose. He was shaking his fists in the air and smiling like a kid in a candy shop as his teammates surrounded him. These games don’t mean anything in the standings for the Blue Jackets, who have already locked up last place in the entire NHL by a wide margin, but they clearly mean something to Yorkie, and I think he is inspiring his teammates to care a little more as well.
He had a .968 saves percentage for this game and now has a .952 SP and a 1.40 GAA during the four games of this most recent call-up. Tonight’s performance pushed his season NHL stats to .915 and 2.42 and gave him the best saves percentage, goals against average AND winning percentage of any of the three goalies Columbus has used this year, although admittedly in far fewer games.
Columbus has just four games remaining in their season. Their usual starting goalie, Steve Mason (who has been either inconsistent or pretty awful this season, depending on how generous you want to be) is out at least temporarily with a possible concussion and his usual backups are both out with season-ending injuries. All of this combined with Allen York’s “stellar” (according to the NHL website recap) performance tonight would suggest that he will get more starts – maybe even all four of them.
The Blue Jackets play again tomorrow night at 8:00, facing a tough St. Louis Blues team that is just one point behind the Rangers for the NHL’s top spot. It will be interesting to see if Allen gets the start and if he can hold his own and inspire his teammates again.
Let’s go, Yorkie!