The expectations of Carter Hutton have never been overly high. The 32-year-old went undrafted out of UMass-Lowell back in 2010, and his career in the NHL was up in the air. Late in March of the 2009-10 season, the Philadelphia Flyers saw some goaltender issues evolve, as their backup goaltender was injured. Hutton backed up Brian Boucher and then played four games with the teams AHL affiliate. Over the next year, Hutton would bounce around from the San Jose Sharks, Rockford IceHogs, and eventually the Chicago Blackhawks.
Hutton was called up to the Hawks in late February of the 2011-12 season. He actually made his first career NHL start on April 27, 2013 against his now current team, the St. Louis Blues. The Blues scored three on Hutton, as he made 25 saves on 28 shots in a 3-1 Blues victory. Hutton would not play another game that season, but he would dress for the final few games of the regular season, and then dressed for five games in the playoffs. The Hawks would go on to win the Stanley Cup that season, and while Hutton would not get his name engraved on the cup, he would be awarded a championship ring by the team.
In the summer of 2013, Hutton would once again start anew, this time signing a contract with the Nashville Predators to backup illustrious goaltender Pekka Rinne. Hutton would remain with the team for three seasons. Over that span, he started 66 games (played in 75), earned a 33-23-12 record with an average of 2.52 goals against, and a .910 Sv%. After the 2015-16 season, Hutton would sign with the Blues. Hutton served backup to starter Jake Allen last season, where he boasted a record of 13-8-2. Hutton also had a 2.39 GAA and .913 Sv%, both the second highest in each category of his career.
This season, Carter Hutton has been on absolute fire. He has a record of 8-3-0, with a 1.64 GAA and .947 Sv%. If Hutton can keep those numbers around there, he will amass a career high in both of those stats. Hutton has started each of the last three games for the Blues, all wins and Hutton has allowed two goals or less in each game, including a game last night where he stopped 32 of 33 Vegas Golden Knights shots.
Hutton’s masterful performances have come at the perfect time for a struggling Blues club, as goals have been coming at a premium since Jaden Schwartz went down with injury. The Blues have not scored more than three goals in a game since December 9th when they hung six on the Detroit Red Wings, 13 games ago. This means the Blues are scoring around two, maybe three goals per game. This way, it is up for the defense and Hutton himself to man the front lines and keep the Blues in games with consistent defense and solid goaltending.
Another look at Hutton’s save. #stlblues https://t.co/Aacf3xZFda
“Hutts” as they call him, has been up to the task this season, allowing two or less goals in 10 of the 12 games in which he has played 30 minutes of the game or more. It is incredible what Carter Hutton has done this season, and he is continuing to put the team on his back on a nightly basis. Do not forget, this guy is supposed to be the backup! Hutton still acknowledges that he is the backup to Allen, but Hutton has made it extremely difficult to not put him in net on a daily basis with how hot his play has been.
Hutton could easily be a starter on several other NHL clubs. His play has jumpstarted a Blues club who seems to be getting out of that rut they were in the last couple weeks. The scoring is still going to be a problem until Schwartz is back, but Hutton thrives on the pressure every night of having to hold the opposing team to two goals or less. Even if it is as a backup, #40 is a major part of this team’s success going forward. If he keeps the play he has shown as of late, Hutton is going to see quite the plethora of ice time that the typical backup does not see. It surely will be exciting how Hutton does over these next few weeks with how he has been playing. As always let’s go Blues.