The St. Louis Blues bested the San Jose Sharks in just 5 games, but even more surprising was that the Los Angeles Kings knocked off the President trophy winning Vancouver Canucks in only 5 games. The Blues and Kings will face off in the conference semi-finals with each team providing a rock solid goalie, stingy D, and tough forwards. Both of these teams win in similar ways which makes for a great series. The team who will win will be the ones who can solve the other teams goalie.
Brian Elliott came into the playoffs replacing Jaroslav Halak after he was injured in game 2 against the Sharks. Elliott stole the show when he saved Halak’s shutout and won game 2. Elliott then won 3 straight games for the Blues and posted a tremondous 1.37 GAA and a .949 save %. Elliott picked up where he left off in the regular season making great saves and playing consistently well during each game he played in which boosted the Blues past the Sharks. Would the Blues be in the same spot if Halak were in net? I really do not think so. Even though Halak is a great goalie, he seemed to struggle a bit in game 1 and I do not think he would of had the consistency that Elliott had. Elliott deserves to start next series even if Halak is healthy enough to play.
Jonathan Quick played all 5 games for the Kings earning 1 shutout along with an impressive 1.59 GAA and a .953 save %. Quick kept the Canucks to 2 goals or under for each of their wins and only gave up one 3 goal game during their only loss in the series. Quick had a stellar year and I would bet he gets a Vezina nomination as he is the reason for the Kings making the post season and winning the first round. Quick has just been nominated for a Vezina and much deserves it.
Note: Reports say Halak will be out for the first 2 games against the Kings