Friday, May 17, 2019

Brian Elliott Swatch Card

This is a weird post-season for me, forcing me to cheer for teams I usually very much dislike (the Boston Bruins) or just don't care about (the St. Louis Blues) to win against teams I hate (the Carolina Hurricanes and San Jose Sharks).

The Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and lost in the Final in 2013, so they've already cemented their place as a top team in the decade, and the Blues made the Final in their first three seasons in the league yet had to see fellow 1967 expansion brothers the Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins savor multiple wins - and the Minnesota North Stars reach a couple of Finals themselves before winning the Cup in 1999 as the relocated Dallas Stars. And nothing guarantees St. Louis would win against Boston, the third-best team in the league in the regular season.

The Blues seems to have finally found a goalie who can thrive in their system after many years of regular-season success but year after year of post-season failures in the person of Jordan Binnington. Now, goalies are hard to predict, and it remains to be seen if he can keep it up in the long run, but so far he's posted the third-best playoff performance this year (after still-standing Tuukka Rask and the now-eliminated Ben Bishop), and it doesn't seem like he'll wear down as long as he keeps playing.

These days, I have a thought for Brian Elliott, who manned the net admirably and honestly for six seasons in the Gateway City, posting some of the best goals-against averages of the millennium in the process:
from HockeyDB
Granted, he was Jaroslav Halak's backup and was sheltered by playing fewer games and against lesser opponents, but those are fine NHL numbers regardless of how you look at them.

However, his play hasn't been as effective for the past three seasons and he was surpassed by this year's other star rookie goalie with the Flyers, Carter Hart. Then again, at $2.75M per season, Elliott was pretty much playing on a backup's salary anyway.

His contract is due this summer, and I think he still has another two-year deal in him, likely with a team that needs to play their top goalie less and doesn't have a young gun ready to challenge for the position. I can think of three such teams in the Atlantic: the Montréal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings, as well as the Edmonton Oilers out West.

Here he is wearing the Blues' white (away) uniform, on card #GG-ET from Panini's 2012-13 Titanium set and Game-Worn Gear subset:
The jersey swatch, however, is burgundy - from his 12 games with the Colorado Avalanche at the tail end of the 2010-11 season.

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