St. Louis Blues: Brian Elliott Continues To Be One Of NHL's Best Backups

By Jonathan Katje
Blues Jets
Bruce Fedyck – USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Blues snuck past the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night by a 2-1 score, in a victory that was quite out of character for a team that came in with the second-best goals per game average in the league. The Jets finished the game with a 21-20 edge in shots, but a second period goal from Alex Steen and a late-game power play tally from Kevin Shattenkirk proved to be enough for the win. With Jaroslav Halak getting a rare night off, Brian Elliott made 20 saves between the pipes to get his fifth win of the season. He now boasts a 5-1-1 record with a 2.04 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage, which should put him in any conversation about who the best backup netminders in the league are.

The Blues are holding on to second place in the Central Division thanks to their 20-6-3 record, and once again the steallr play of two goaltenders is helping them stay ahead of most of the pack. Halak is 15-5-2 with a 2.24 goals-against, and so far both netminders have been able to stay healthy. Elliott came up big for the Blues in his first two seasons with the team, posting records of 23-10-4 (2011-12) and 14-8-1 (2012-13). He’ll be a free agent at the end of the season and with Jake Allen waiting in the wings he most likely won’t be re-signed, but he sure is making a convincing case that he’d be a fit almost anywhere. If the Blues find themselves in a tight spot as the trade deadline nears, Elliott could be shipped out as a rental while Allen gets a chance. When he hits the open market over the summer, Elliott should have no shortage of suitors, as he continues to shine in St. Louis no matter how heavy or light his workload has been.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL featured columnist for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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