St Louis Blues 20 in 20: Jaroslav Halak & Brian Elliott
Here is my 20 in 20 segment where I will be discussing 20 players in 20 days for the St. Louis Blues. Today are the goalies Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott.
Jaroslav Halak – Halak was originally drafted in the 9th round by the Montreal Canadiens back in 2003. No one really knew who this goaltender was, but made a huge splash during the 2009-2010 season when he challenged Carey Price for the starting goaltender position on the Canadiens. He did take the starting spot during the playoffs where Halak led the 8th seed Canadiens to the Eastern Conference Championship. After that season, the Blues acquired Halak for Lars Eller and Ian Schultz. Halak’s first season with the Blues was just average, but he was phenomenal in the 2011-2012 season posting a .926 save % and a 1.97 goals against average. In those 46 games he also had six shutouts. However due to an injury suffered in the 2nd game of the first round of the playoffs, Halak was sidelined for the remainder of the playoffs. Halak needs to keep this consistency in order for the Blues to have a chance to be division champions and to go further into the playoffs.
Brian Elliott – Elliott was picked up by the Blues during free agency last year with a 1-year deal to provide back up duties to Halak. What we saw next is something no one expected. Elliott then challenged Halak for the starting goalie spot all year long. Elliott’s strong play led him to his first ever All-Star appearance. Elliott was then given a 2-year contract extension with the Blues for a low cap hit of $1.8 million per season. Elliott led the the NHL with a .940 save % and a 1.56 goals against average in 38 games. He also collected 9 shutouts which was good for second best in the league behind Jonathan Quick. Elliott’s numbers however fell slightly during the playoffs and was not able to carry the St Louis Blues past the second round. It sure wasn’t Elliot’s fault for the playoff loss, but maybe there was too much pressure. Elliott was able to challenge Halak this season and these two won the William Jennings trophy as the goaltending duo with the lowest goals against. Elliott needs to continue this play and continue to challenge Halak for the number one spot and if he does, both of their numbers will continue to be very good.
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