How can the same goalie be so good, and then so bad? And then good, then beyond awful?
Right now, the St. Louis Blues are going through the same thing that the Ottawa Senators did almost 2 years ago. The extreme ups and downs of Brian Elliott. When he is on his game, there are few goalies better in the league. Ottawa saw that version of Brian Elliott in January 2010 when he went on a 9 game winning streak and won 12 of 14 starts.
When he is not on his game, he can’t stop a beach ball. Ottawa also witnessed that version of Brian Elliott between November 2010 and February 2011 when he won only 3 of 28 games he appeared in, a stretch that resulted in the trade that brought Craig Anderson to Ottawa in exchange for Elliott.
In the past season and a quarter, the St. Louis Blues have also seen the Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde that is Brian Elliott. Last year, after giving him a chance few thought he would get, or deserved, the Blues’ hunch was rewarded as he played out of his mind in posting a 1.56 GAA and .940 SP in 38 games while splitting time with Jaroslav Halak.
This season has been a different story for Elliott. With Halak injured, the ball has been Elliott’s to carry, and he has fumbled it all over the field. After coming in to relieve Halak on Jan 21st, it started out ok as he stopped all 13 shots he faced in a shootout win to get his season off to a good start. It was all downhill after that as he has posted a 2-4-1 record since that first appearance, allowing 5 goals twice and 4 goals once.
Saturday night was a tipping point for Blues coach Ken Hitchcock, who has become frustrated with Elliott’s performance, as he told NHL.com’s Lou Korac:
Hitch on Elliott: “Not playing very good. Not much I can say. He’d be the first to tell you too. He’s got to play better.” #stlblues
— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) February 10, 2013
Elliott’s stats this season resemble those that got him sent out of Ottawa – 3.51 GAA (38th in the NHL) and .853 SP (40th in NHL).
Hitchcock also staed he will not be giving Elliot an immediate shot to redeem himself, stating that if Halak wasn’t ready to go in his recovery from injury, then he would be turning to Jake Allen for the Blues’ next game.
The Blues are going through right now what Ottawa went through two years ago. Mr. Hyde rearing its ugly head.