For the second consecutive season, the St. Louis chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association has nominated goaltender Brian Elliott for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The award is meant to recognize the player "who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey." Each team's local chapter of the PHWA has the opportunity to choose one member of their team, and their rationale for choosing Elliott this season seems close to the rationale for last yearhe's an overlooked contributor to the team who has cemented his role as starter according to Jeremy Rutherford, both in 2015 and in 2016. This is also similar to the times he was nominated in 2012 and 2013. In fact, the only year he has not been the Blues' nominee during his tenure here was 2014, when Alexander Steen got the honor.
According to Rutherford, explaining the PHWA's decision:
Elliott joined the Blues in 2011 after not being qualified by the Colorado Avalanche, agreeing to a two-way contract worth $600,000. In the last five seasons, Elliott has established himself as a legitimate No. 1 goalie, compiling a record of 101-45-16, including a franchise record 25 shutouts.
Despite his success, Elliott has been overlooked for the Blues' starting goalie assignment in the playoffs, taking a backseat to Jaroslav Halak, Ryan Miller and Jake Allen.
But exuding that strong perseverance, Elliott came back in 2015-16 to post another 20-win season, and he leads the NHL in goals-against average (1.95) and save-percentage (.934) down the stretch.
Basically, Brian Elliott is good, he plays well pretty consistently (with a few hiccups) and has consistently and inexplicably been ignored for starting position in the playoffs despite being the only Blues' goalie to win a playoff series since 2002.
Congrats to Brian Elliott on the nomination.