The Moose is down, folks. St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott is going to the Injured Reserve shop for four weeks. In a wild dash of karma, Elliott got hurt the first night fellow goalie Jake Allen came back. Labeled a lower body injury but most definitely one from the knee variety, Elliott isn't going to be seen for a month at least. After starting 16 games and playing better than ever before, he now joins the Alex's on the "I'm useless" area.
What a shame. With no offense to the Snake(who is a great goaltender and very hungry to reclaim his glory), losing Elliot is a blow. He was a lifeline to a severely struggling team last month and carried the low scoring bunch through a stretch of play that may lock them into the playoffs. Do you care to think about what this team would look like WITHOUT ELLIOTT the past six weeks? Please tell me because it's quite ugly any way you draw it up.
Since January 8th, Elliott was an absolute boss in wins, goals against average, save percentage, His adjusted save percentage over the entire season is a precise 94 percent and his high danger save percentage(the gritty in you face stops) was 90 percent. While that's not a very sharp number, that 90 % is better than Jonathan Quick, Corey Crawford and Roberto Luongo(Thank you War on Ice stat page). To say the least, Elliott was enjoying his best stretch of play, leading goaltenders in sweetness, awesome sauce dispensing and general puck stoppage. As my fellow Blues bar stool owner Art Lippo pointed outMonday night, Elliott may have saved Hitch's job.
Forget comparisons to other sports or past Blues teams. This 2015-16 group is getting hammered. For the first time since he went down, Petro's presence was sadly missed against the Sharks. Blues defensemen simply don't know how to clear rebounds or Patrik Berglund's stick had a hole in it on the first goal. Ryan Reaves went overboard in a play that led to an ejection, eventual suspension and two Sharks goals. Losing Elliott was an extra sting for the ride home.
Jordan Binnington or Pheonix Copley will take the backup slot, but it's all Allen now. He will take over and while he will do just fine, I'm still angry about losing Elliott.
When he comes back, will he be the lion in net fans saw the past six weeks? Will he get a chance to win his job back? No matter how you feel about the 30 year old vet, it's rough to see him get dealt this hand. I don't like the "He will get rested for the playoffs" idea. Goalies don't need rest. They need repetition folks. This isn't good.
The updated injury bug list this season.
Jaden Schwartz, Paul Stastny, Jake Allen, Kevin Shattenkirk, Alex Steen, Brian Elliott, Alex Pietrangelo and some other kind of important players.
Those are semi important players. Those are foundations. Gone for extended periods of time this season.
The Blues, however, stand today with 79 points. Fourth in the NHL. Two points behind the Western Conference leading Blackhawks. Resiliency folks. It's not a throwaway narrative table setting with this team. It's an everyday reminder that nothing comes easy for the Blues in 2016.
Does Ellliott's injury increase the need for a trade? Sure it does. Losing one of the foundations of your defense(just like Petro) makes the need for more offense apparent. The Blues still need to score more and since they are leaning on a pair of knees that have already taken a shot this season, Doug Armstrong still needs to add an outside power source to this bunch.
The New York Rangers will provide a nice firm test of "Where The Fuck You Are At" on Thursday at Scottrade. Can they score enough? Is Allen ready to be Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom? Can the Blues get through the next four weeks and reclaim Steen, Petro and Elliott before the final regular season stretch begins. Those three, from here until March 22nd(four week mark Ells), will more than likely miss at least 12 games.
What will the Blues record be then?
According to ESPN's Hockey Twitter account, Elliott is going back on IR a day after exiting it.
Brian Elliott exits with apparent injury one day after coming off IR https://t.co/41FaTqno30— ESPN NHL coverage (@ESPN_NHL) February 23, 2016
What a regretful gong show over at Bristol's mighty empire of bullshit. Delete your account, ESPN.