Thursday, April 14, 2016

Brian Elliott: 2 Autographed Cards

What better time than after a shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks to feature St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott, finally getting his chance as a playoff starter - he's been waiting for it for four years, after all.

In my Round One Predictions, I stated that I was pulling for the Hawks (in 7) but made it clear that I could also see the Blues winning in 6, or even in four straight if all the games go to overtime. Well, Game 1 went to overtime, with Elliott besting Corey Crawford by just one shot that went through.

It's so hard to root against Elliott, though, who's a real feel-good story onto himself, always the underdog despite a couple of All-Star Game participations, a Jennings Trophy, and being an all-around nice guy, as can be attested by the fact that I got these cards in the mail from him just a few weeks ago, signed in blue sharpie with the correct uniform number tagged at the end.

Let's start with the oldest one, from Panini's 2010-11 Score Rookies And Traded (#576 in the set), showing him wearing the Colorado Avalanche's white (away) uniform, playing the puck behind his net:
Ironically, his 12-game stint with the Avs is the only one in which he had a GAA over 3.00 (3.83 to be exact) and a save percentage below .900 (.891) with an NHL team. He's at 2.01 and .925 over five seasons with the Blues, four of which ended in Masterton Trophy nominations, including this year.

Speaking of St. Louis, here he is jumping on the puck with cat-like reflexes, from Upper Deck's 2011-12 Series 2 set:
He'd been featured with the Avs in Series 1, so this was a means to update his status; it's card #289 in the set and shows him in the Rbk Edge blue (home) uniform.

I'll always wish Elliott the best; as a matte of fact, when Carey Price was injured, I was hoping Montréal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin would go and acquire his services to save the season; Mike Condon didn't do badly, but Elliott's a safer bet, and a much better stop-gap solution than Ben Scrivens.

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