Blues netminder Jake Allen was having a bit of a Throwback Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks when he was forced to make a save without his mask.



“I don’t think the [referee] saw it,” Allen told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “My buckle completely snapped off and I couldn’t 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.”

Rule 9.6 covers helmets and the loss thereof:

When a goalkeeper has lost his helmet and/or face mask and his team has control of the puck, the play shall be stopped immediately to allow the goalkeeper the opportunity to regain his helmet and/or face mask.

When the opposing team has control of the puck, play shall only be stopped if there is no immediate and impending scoring opportunity. This stoppage of play must be made by the Referee. When play is stopped because the goalkeeper has lost his helmet and/or face mask, the ensuing face-off shall take place at one of the defending team’s end zone face-off spots.

When a goalkeeper deliberately removes his helmet and/or face mask in order to secure a stoppage of play, the Referee shall stop play as outlined above and in this case assess the goalkeeper a minor penalty for delaying the game.


“[The referee] just said he didn’t see,” Allen said. “Once the play went up ice there, no one looked back. I was yelling, but out there it’s tough to hear sometimes.”

Blues defenseman Kevin Shatterkirk received additional details from the officials. They advised him that as they play moved up ice, they were counting the skaters  as they believed there may have been too many men on the ice.

The officials may not have noticed, but Allen’s teammates did.

“I was banging on the boards,” said Blues center Alexander Steen. “They didn’t see it in time.”

“It’s a tough play,” said defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. “It’s one that luckily nothing bad comes out of it because that could have gone a lot of different ways. Scary, very scary.”

St. Louis Blues head coach Mike Yeo was impressed by his netminder’s fortitude on the play.

“It’s pretty scary when the guy is coming down and he’s ready to shoot,” said Yeo. “In that area, where he was getting the puck, more often than not, they’re shooting high, so that was a little bit scary for sure. He stood in there. He’s crazy.”

Penguins goaltender Andy Brown was the last goaltender to play without a mask. His last NHL game came in 1974.  Other goalies, including Braden Holtby and Jhonas Enroth have been forced to make similar helmetless stops, as has Allen prior to joining the NHL.

“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. Sometimes it’s dangerous, but I’ve made a couple of saves before without a mask on,” said Allen.

“It’s a tough rule.”

(Thanks to Cristiano Simonetta for the heads up and the clips)