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Flyers At Blues Game Preview: Elliott Gets The Start As Allen Rests

The Blues' current backup is getting a chance to challenge again.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Elliott has played well this season; his last few losses were not goaltending debacles, they were defensive shit shows and anemic scoring performances. Elliott is getting a chance to get back into the W column tonight against the Flyers. In his career, he has played Philly well, with a 6-3-0 record and a solid .930 save percentage.

Would a stellar performance tonight get him back into Ken Hitchcock's good graces? In theory, there's no proof that he's necessarily out of them - many of Jake Allen's starts have been matters of riding the hot hand, and that has morphed into an acceptance of Allen as the de facto starter. Hitch needs to be recognized for starting a goaltender tonight who has traditionally strong play against his opponent. As anemic as the Flyers' scoring is (they average two goals a game), tonight may be a continuation of Elliott's success.

Magnus Paajarvi should be starting on the top line again with Paul Stastny and Vladimir Tarasenko. Paajarvi, who has floated between the AHL to the press box to the fourth line, saw success with the Blues top offensive players and played well. Is it a one game fluke, or is it a matter of finally finding somewhere for Umlaut to be? Much like you shouldn't assume that the ship has been righted and Hitch is off of the hot seat after the Blues defeated a sub-par opponent, you shouldn't assume that PRV will be the left wing on the top line for the foreseeable future. If it works Saturday against Dallas and Sunday against Colorado as well, maybe then the questions can cease.

The Flyers have gone an absurd 147:45 at Scottrade without scoring a goal. They are at or near the bottom half of the league in every statistical category save for shots on goal (where they're sixth). That means that they try. Sometimes teams that try succeed. They played well in their loss Tuesday night to the Islanders; out of the Blues' recent opponents who are not (or who were barely) in playoff position, the Flyers are the most dangerous. The Blues play down to their competition, or at least play down to the level that they think their competition is at. Underestimate the Flyers, and this could be the end of yet another extended win streak over an Eastern Conference opponent.