by PuckStopsHere on 11/24/11 at 05:10 PM ET
Brian Elliott is into his fourth NHL season. He came into the NHL as an Ottawa Senator. After two mid-level seasons he was entrenched as the Sens number one goalie. This is more of a testimony to the lack of a top goalie in Ottawa than it is to Elliott’s top level play. In his third season his playing level dropped. By the end of it, Elliott found himself traded to the Colorado Avalanche. He posted an .893 saves percentage and a 3.34 GAA. These were such poor numbers that he was the worst player in the league by goals versus threshold last season.
Elliott’s NHL career was in jeopardy. He was given another chance when he signed as a free agent with the St Louis Blues this summer. It was potentially a last chance. He was slated to be the Blues seldom used backup behind Jaroslav Halak. If he failed, Jake Allen and Ben Bishop are young goalies ready to step in.
At the beginning of this season Halak had a terrible start and this forced Elliott into action. Elliott responded well he has been playing the best hockey of his career so far this season. Currently Elliott leads the NHL with .946 saves percentage and a 1.48 GAA. These numbers a likely not sustainable over a full season as Elliott has only played in ten games so far. This play has saved his career. Another poor season from Elliott would likely have him exiled to the minors and quite possibly permanently.
Brian Elliott has not been a good goalie through most of his NHL career. Last season was a terrible performance where he played himself out of Ottawa and Colorado. St Louis gave him another chance where he has been very successful so far. He has saved his career with his play so far this season. I expect that Elliott will not maintain his play at this high level for a full season but I expect he will continue to far exceed his performance of last season. It seems St Louis has found a competent backup goalie from the other team’s scraps.
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