by PuckStopsHere on 08/23/11 at 03:33 PM ET
According to Tom Awad’s goals versus threshold system, Brian Elliott was the worst player in the league. He split the season between the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche and posted a .893 saves percentage, in a league where the average saves percentage was .913. Nobody played more games than Elliott (who played 55 games) and posted a worse saves percentage. He also allowed six of eight shots against in shootouts. This is a small sample size, but it directly cost his team points. Brian Elliott had a poor season.
Elliott has been an NHL starter for the last two years. He played 55 games a season each year. He has played himself out of the NHL starters pool. As a free agent this summer, Elliott signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Blues for only $600,000 for one season. This is a last chance for Elliott. If he fails, he is likely out of the NHL.
Elliott is pencilled in to be the St. Louis Blues backup goalie; playing behind Jaroslav Halak. In all likelihood, Halak will play the majority of their games this season. Should Elliott fail this season, St. Louis has Jake Allen and Ben Bishop waiting in the wings as potential NHL goalies. Little is expected from Elliott this year. He is expected to be a seldom used backup.
Elliott broke into the NHL with the Ottawa Senators in the 2008/09 season. While he posted a winning record, it was largely due to improved team play that occurred around the same time Elliott began playing regularly. He did not post particularly outstanding numbers with a .902 saves percentage and a 2.77 GAA. He showed some improvement in 2009/10 with a .909 saves percentage and a 2.57 GAA, as he was an NHL starter. That momentum stopped last season where his saves percentage dropped to .893 and his GAA ballooned to 3.34. It may just be one down year, but it was a bad year. Elliott is a less than average NHL goalie, but he has shown himself to be NHL calibre in the past (though not last season). He won’t get much of a chance to show himself in the upcoming season. He must do well to stay in the league. A season of below average NHL calibre backup hockey likely will end his NHL career.
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