St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott (1) celebrates with Barret Jackman, left, and Jordan Leopold, right, after defeating the Detroit Red Wings 1-0 in an NHL hockey game in Detroit, Sunday April 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) By Paul Sancya
(HockeyStL) -- It would have been very easy for the Blues to have given up on Brian Elliott.
He may have been the team's only All Star last season, but he appeared to be very close to becoming a former Blue a few weeks ago. Elliott struggled mightily in his five starts in February. His save percentage was a dreadful .810. He was sentenced to the bench and became a non-factor as Jake Allen and Yaro Halak shared the goaltending duties. Elliott was eventually sent to Peoria on a conditioning stint.
It would have been easy to come to the conclusion at that point that Elliott had played his last game in St. Louis.
Ken Hitchcock stuck with him, and when Halak went down with a groin injury Elliott got another chance. He's certainly made the most of it. He's won his last three starts. His save percentage in those games was .929. He helped the Blues secure huge victories over Western Conference rivals Minnesota, Chicago and Detroit. He shutout Detroit in what has to be his best game of the year. When the Blues needed him the most, Elliott stepped up and delivered.
The goalie who appeared to be in trouble of losing his job now stands to be a key factor in the Blues push for a playoff spot. It's a good thing team management has more patience than the fan base and the media when dealing with a struggling player.