In 327 career games, Brian Elliott has 166 wins and a 2.42 goals against average. His save percentage sits at .913 and he spends his time these days guarding net for one of the worst defenses in the NHL, the Calgary Flames. A team with three unofficial names in its title and a lot of offense with no stable defense. For the Flames, defense is an option and Elliott will hopefully only spend a single season there before running away screaming.
Greet Moose properly tonight. He will look funny, decked out in red and yellow. It’s like looking at a Brett Hull Flames trading card back in the day and trying to restrain a laugh or two. Some things don’t look right. Barret Jackman in mustard Predator gave me an upset stomach. The jury is still out on David Backes in Boston Bruin black and gold, but he has looked solid early on. Elliott won’t look right.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss Ells a bit in net. He got in position like a spider cheetah, bouncing from post to post and swirling through the crease. Opposing shooters rarely found a way to break the Elliott wall from early January to late April earlier this year. He threw the team on his back and played like a boss and never got the credit he deserved.
Why is that? Was it too hard to admit Elliott was better for the Blues than Jaro Halak, Ryan Miller, and maybe even Jake Allen. The stiffest Jake Allen supporter has to show some respect for Elliott and what he did here. It may have been time for him to test the waters outside of the Midwest, but that doesn’t make his departure any easier. It’s like a damn farewell tour the past two years.
Maybe St. Louis isn’t used to having one real guy in net. They need a charade or a rotation to keep them from hinging their bets on one set of shoulders. It will be easy for me to show respect for a player who never got his due here. Brian Elliott is the Matt Holliday of the Blues. Over five strong seasons, Elliott set franchise records and locked himself into some shiny territory in the Blues history books. Move over Grant Fuhr and Curtis Joseph and share the space with the Newmarket, Ontario fortunate son.
He is 31 years old and reaching the part of a goalie’s career that doesn’t include a parade or long line of cheers. He is going to age quickly if he decides to stay in Calgary for too long. They aren’t getting better anytime soon. That’s like saying cracked pavement will get better right as winter starts. The Flames are doomed and I hope Elliott escapes. He deserves a better hockey death than that. Game of Thrones wouldn’t even do him like that.
Find some peace, Elliott. Just don’t shut us out tonight or get lit up. Play a solid game. Skate to the circle and stare down at the kid Allen. Wink at him. Make sure he’s earning his keep. You taught him everything he knows anyway. The 25 year old doesn’t know how a team feels on his back for more than 40 or so games. You found that out last season. Get your, Moose.
A few more things as you sip your Four Hands City Wide Ale:
*Welcome back David Perron. Right time. Right return. The Frenchman is a wiser breed of goal scoring talent and respects the ice that Vladimir Tarasenko, a real sports personality, skates on. Perron has made a career out of benefiting from great linemates. Let it continue here. He’s not that stupid anymore. He doesn’t try to fake four players out of their skates. He’s more democratic these days. He’s better too.
*Hey there, Troy Brouwer. You were only a Blue for a season, so I don’t feel much loss over your departure. Having said that, thanks again for the Game 7 clincher over the Blackhawks. You’ll never truly understand what that did for this city.
*Is it okay if Ryan Reaves beats the shit out of someone tonight? Or is that frowned upon in our new soft NHL game action? Give me a break. Let the man wear the badge out there and pound a few. Take away the dirty hits. Leave the fights. They actually stand for something. It’s called respect.
*With my luck, Reaves won’t dress. Figures.
*Did Magnus Paajarvi really score a game winner this year? I still don’t believe it.
*Patrik Berglund isn’t saving anyone or anything, but he’s a helluva component.
Let’s win tonight Blues. Kick Cal and Gary’s ass. Create the potential for a winning streak. Get your act together. The weather gets chillier outside the arena and inside the boards soon. Welcome back your zig zagging degenerates. It’s nice to see you again.
St. Louis is yours for the winter. Have some fun. And always…buy more bourbon.
(featured in tonight’s issue of St. Louis Game Time, sold outside Scottrade every home game)