Sunday, November 27, 2011

Elliott turning out to be player of the year so far in the NHL

By Andrew Allsman| Posted: November 27th, 2011| Contact 

Brian Elliott was signed by the Blues in the offseason and barely made the team out of camp with his job being to "push Halak", but clearly he has done more.

Elliott spent last year with two teams, the Senators and the Avalanche, before he was forced to test free agency this summer.

The Blues have been in desperate need of goaltending over the past few years, and with the signing of Jaroslav Halak in 2010 the Blues wondered if they had finally found the "right" goalie.

Halak showed inconsistency in his debut season with the Blues, and fans knew that Conklin would not get the job done as backup, so the rumors began as to who could.

Most fans wanted Bishop, as he proved last season that he can play in the NHL, but the Blues decided to sign Brian Elliot and the training camp competition began between Bishop and Elliot.

Both played equally, but GM Doug Armstrong chose to go with the more experienced Elliott.  He made the right choice.

Elliott is 9-1-0 and leads the league in both sv% (.951) and GAA (1.34). 

Elliott was forced to step in as what I would consider the "main goaltender" when Halak showed his inconsistency early on this season.

Elliott was a bright spot in the Blues disappointing 6-7 start that ultimately led to Davis Payne being fired.

Since the Payne firing, Halak has upped his game, and is playing arguably his best hockey as a Note.  Halak playing well, gives the Blues options as Hitchcock can now split the games between the goaltenders, and can expect wins from both of them.

Elliott has obviously been the Blues most important offseason signing, and he continues his remarkable play that is giving the Blues a chance to rise in the standings even with key players out.

There is no doubt in my mind that Elliott (as of right now) is the player of the year in the NHL.  He is playing absolutely spectacularly and the Blues are playing their best hockey largely due to his play.

The most remarkable aspect of this story, is that Elliott barely made the team out of camp, and now he should be considered player of the year.  The only person who has a reason to be upset is Ben Bishop who due to Elliott's play has very little chance of seeing NHL action barring an injury.

If Elliott can continue his play, the Blues should find themselves in the playoffs, and will be hard to beat due to one of the best goaltending combos in the league.

Kudos to Elliott for being there when the team needed him and for stepping up his game to give the Blues a chance to win every night he's in net.