St. Louis Blues Jake Allen called it a “weird rule,” and it resulted in one of the weirdest saves of the NHL season: Allen, stopping the puck without wearing his goalie mask.
According to the NHL rulebook, if goalie loses his mask and his team doesn’t have control of the puck, play is stopped “if there is no immediate and impending scoring opportunity.” If the referee determines the goalie lost his mask on purpose to stop play, it can result in a minor penalty.
Against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday, Allen’s mask broke and he was forced to doff his helmet. But play continued, and Allen had to make a save on Michael Chaput without his mask.
“Snakey blocks one without his helmet on,” said Blues forward Alex Steen.
Allen made 18 saves in the Blues’ 4-3 win. One of them sans lid.
“I did it in the minors a couple of times. It’s a weird rule, because there are some times when some refs call it and some refs don’t. And sometimes it’s dangerous, but I’ve made a couple of saves before without a mask on,” said Allen. “But it’s a tough rule. My buckle completely snapped off and I could see out of my right eye. So I pulled it off. I don’t think they saw it until the puck got out of the zone. The guy was right there, so I came out in case they didn’t blow it.”
Why didn’t the refs blow it dead?
“He said he didn’t see it. I was yelling. But it’s loud out there. Hard to hear sometimes,” Allen said.
“Luckily no harm came from it.”
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