What the St. Louis Blues did last year was simply absurd.
They overcame a pitiful start to roll on to the no. 2 seed in the Western Conference before faltering in the playoffs. A major part of their success last year was their combination between the pipes, of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliot, which was the best in the game in 2011-2012.
Both of theme finished with their respective goals against average under two. Halak finished with a .926 save percentage while Elliot was at a .940. They combined for 15 shutouts. Simply incredible.
This year, that hasn’t quite been the case. The Blues have already had to use an additional goaltender due to their inconsistencies between the pipe, with Jake Allen making five starts this season.
Halak hasn’t been terrible. He just hasn’t been as dominating as he was last season. He has a solid 2.31 GAA but his save percentage is well under .900. Which means he’s facing less shots, but allowing more goals, including when he was recently pulled from a start after allowing five goals. He has two shutouts on the season.
Of the two, Elliot has been much, much worse. His GAA on the season is 3.65. Some of the league’s worst backup goaltenders don’t even boast a number that bad. He’s stopping shots at a rate of just 85 percent. That’s….really bad.
After coming into the season looking like they were primed for a deep run in the playoffs, the Blues have fallen flat on their faces for the majority of 2013. They remain in contention, but have that eighth spot in the Western Conference by only one point. They aren’t the only reason that the Blues are struggling, but the lack of solid goaltending has played a major part in their struggles.