Vaughn: Is Elliott now Blues No. 1 goalie?

Vaughn: Is Elliott now Blues No. 1 goalie?

Credit: Getty Images

EDMONTON, AB - JANUARY 7: Brian Elliott #1 of the St. Louis Blues stops a shot against Justin Schultz #19 of the Edmonton Oilers during an NHL game at Rexall Place on January 7, 2014 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

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by Doug Vaughn / HockeyStL

KMOV.com

Posted on January 8, 2014 at 12:04 PM

If Brian Elliott hasn’t earned the job as the Blues number one goalie by now, then it may never happen. Ken Hitchcock has never hesitated to play Elliott, but it’s been clear that Yaroslav Halak has been the Blues number one goalie the past two seasons, with Elliott being 1A. Now, that may have changed. 

Elliott is putting up some impressive stats. With the victory Tuesday night at Edmonton, Elliott has won his last seven starts. He’s 13-1-2 for the season. His goals against average of 1.86 is second best in the NHL, behind only Josh Harding of Minnesota (1.66). Elliott has won his last 13 home games (a Blues franchise record). He has 15 shutouts as a Blue, despite having played in just 81 games. The great Glenn Hall had 16 shutouts in his time in St. Louis, but it took him 140 games to get them.

Related: Blues top Oilers for 6th straight win

For whatever reason, Elliott’s name doesn’t usually come up in discussions of the league’s top goaltenders. Granted, he has benefited by playing on one of the top teams in the league with a solid defensive unit in front of him. But Elliott’s numbers are hard to ignore. At age 28, he has emerged as one of the NHL’s elite goaltenders.

Hitchcock might still be hesitant to write Elliott’s name ahead of Halak’s on the organizational depth chart, but if the playoffs were to start tomorrow and both goalies were healthy, Elliott would likely be the guy between the pipes. 

 

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