When Ken Hitchcock said after the Game 6 bed shitting that Brian Elliott had played well in March and April, I felt like smacking him on his double chin. Wrong answer. He's been great since January 8th. He's been great since the New Fucking Year began. Come on, coach. Stop with the mind games. Your job, legacy and suit and tie equity are on the line tonight in Dallas. Sure, a President was killed here but that doesn't mean a coaching career can't die there as well. Just ask Ron Washington, Wade Phillips and oh yeah..yourself.
Elliott is the reason the Blues are where they are today. If I have to point out an MVP from the second half of this season, it's Elliott. With no offense to Jake The Snake Roberts Allen, Elliott threw this team on his back and jogged us to April. He outdueled Corey Crawford and exposed the Stars lack of goaltending worth up until Game 6 Monday night. When Hitch said he was going to sleep on a decision, I thought he meant he was going to think about what tigers dream of when they take little tiger snoozes. Since January 8th, Elliott has saved 92% or more of the shots fired his way 28 times. He has dazzled since he took over an injured Allen.
There was no other damn option when it came to who would take the net in Game 7. Twitter even agreed with each other which was shocking and left thousands in disbelief. The Morning After Fan Page for CBS 920 didn't post one naked pic in their stream when this subject was broached. The Blues Lounge refrained from child's play humor. Things were malfunctioning due to the agreement. Elliott is the man and always has been.
Here was a guy who was drafted 291st overall in 2003 and has spent the past few years in St. Louis holding someone else's bucket. He's worn the baseball cap the last two years even though his regular season goals against averages were 1.96 and 2.26. He didn't get the chance over Ryan Miller or Allen even though he had a combined 9 shutouts. I wasn't even on the train at the time. I wanted Miller and then thought Allen deserved it. Elliott just stayed quiet because that is what a stoic Moose does.
Elliott has played around 19,500 minutes in his NHL career and that spans 355 games, 178 wins, and 35 shutouts. None of those games hold as much water weight as tonight's game does. It's not even close. Elliott may exit the Blues when he is done as the greatest goalie to ever wear the Note. Winning tonight pushes that sentiment further towards cement. If he takes the Blues back to the Stanley Cup Finals, his legacy is complete. Elliott is 31 years old and could wake up on May 12th, 2016 as a Big Deal in Blues nation.
All he has to do is stop the Stars. He has to outplay lottery winner Kari Lehtonen. Elliott has to take care of business in order to be taken seriously in St. Louis and around the world of hockey. Nothing has ever been handed to Elliott. He has to do it himself. He's like the overweight softball beer league guy who keeps hitting bombs and can play a hot third base but gets joked about and pushed around for his weight. He has to keep earning it every game.
It's easy to root for Moose. He's humble, honest, rocks a great beard, and is a very fucking good goaltender. Tonight he can take it further. Walk into Dallas, request their heart on a silver platter and ride out of there like a masked avenger.
It's never easy doing great things in sports or in life. Let's hope the Blues can resist the urge to play more golf, rest their bodies and think long hard painful thoughts. Let's hope for handshakes with sad fallen Stars.
I believe in the Blues right now because I believe in Brian Elliott's ability to dominate. It's like a feel good story with some true grit.
Go Blues and thanks for reading as always.