FOX Sports Midwest Blues analyst Darren Pang joined Martin Kilcoyne and Charlie Marlow on The Midday Grind to discuss the Blues’ 2-1 win over the Central Division-leading Minnesota Wild and preview its tough weekend schedule.
Read some excerpts and listen to the full interview below (starts about the 8:15 mark):
On Jake Allen’s incredible turnaround after the promotion of Mike Yeo:
“My goodness, he’s picking up his game. His goals against average his last nine games is like 1.5, his save percentage is right up there with the best in the NHL in that time. What we have right now is the real thing. These goaltenders are playing great hockey.”
On the team playing together right now:
“When they were giving up goals people questioned, I questioned the way the team was defending in their own zone. Now they’ve cleaned up on that side. There seems to be trust all the way around. Goalies are trusting the defensemen and the forwards. It’s all working together. They’re a great…six-man unit in their own zone right now.”
On Martin Brodeur’s impact on Allen’s turnaround:
“I think there’s something to the whole relationship. I think it’s a very valid point. Marty Brodeur goes into there as an experienced goaltender…but an inexperienced coach. I’m so impressed with the work ethic he’s had to put forth. He was an assistant GM…and when asked to go down on the ice…he has put the work in.”
“I think he’s kind of simplified the things in net as well. When Marty suggest something, you’re going to give it a go in practice.”
What do you think about the Blues right now and their chances of making a deep playoff run?
“Let’s face it. There has been ebbs and flows this season. It’s easy to get frustrated with some of the disappointing efforts. But you go into a building like Minnesota…I was so impressed with their preparation during the day. It felt like a playoff game. I loved the response. I loved that the best players were the best players. Now that’s the team that we expect every night. I think that’s what the locker room expects. If they play like that, this team is going to do some damage.”