The St. Louis Blues have had their struggles and issues so far in 2016-17, but one area which fans haven’t had to worry about concerns Carter Hutton as the club’s backup goaltender. Through four appearances, Hutton has been a reliable secondary option who has helped steal some important points for the Blues.
Through those four games, Hutton has a 2.00 GAA and a tidy .926 save percentage. He impressed right away as his first game with the Blues was an outstanding 33-save effort against the New York Rangers. Most recently, Hutton stopped 20-of-21 shots against a Blue Jackets team which hung 10 goals on the Montreal Canadiens in their previous game. While the Blues did a nice job limiting Columbus’ opportunities, Hutton made some truly insane saves to keep the Blues within striking distance.
When Hutton was brought in, he already carried in the reputation as a reliable backup from his time with the Nashville Predators. In fact, other hockey websites wrote extremely similar articles to this one during his time in Nashville.
However, I – and I assume other hockey fans who may be in the same boat – had no idea Hutton would be this reliable and this good this quickly.
His 20 saves against the Blue Jackets featured three or four saves which were of the game-changing variety. For lack of a better word, he had several “wow” saves which could have easily put the Blues in a big hole they probably wouldn’t have been able to climb out of before regulation expired.
Backups are supposed to be competent options when the starter needs a night off. If they can steal a win, great, but it’s more of a happy bonus than an expectation. So far, Hutton has exceeded expectations and that’s huge coming from a backup goaltender.