The St. Louis Blues are amid a four-game losing streak and are looking to get out of the funk they're in. Brian Elliott has not played well at all and the Blues' goaltending situation is a polar opposite from where it was last season.
With Jaroslav Halak coming off of IR, the Blues should start him in the game against LA and make him the legitimate No. 1 starter for the rest of the season.
Halak went down with a groin injury in the first period of the Feb. 1 game against the Detroit Red Wings. Since that game, Elliott has gone has gone 0-3-1, with a 4.00 GAA and .778 save percentage. Those are not the stats of a William M. Jennings trophy winner.
It should be said that some of the goals that have gotten past Elliott have not been his fault. Some can be attributed to a breakdown in defense, while others couldn't have been saved by Patrick Roy. But there is a difference between struggling to keep the puck out of the net and the goals that you had no chance at stopping.
But with Halak back, the Blues need to make him the No. 1 guy.
Halak was not particularly great in his first full season as a Blue, but in the battle he had with Elliott last season, Halak returned to form. Before the injury, Halak was 3-0-0 with a 2.10 GAA and .889 save percentage.
Those are the stats of a starter.
Think back to the 2012 playoffs. In the first round, the Blues were fine. But when Halak went down with the ankle injury and Elliott was the go-to guy, the team got swept by the Kings.
Again, part of the blame can fall onto the ice-cold Blues offense and the red-hot Kings offense. But the fact remains that Elliott could not come up big when he has needed to; not in the postseason and not in this season so far.
Elliott has the capability to be a good goaltender, but he is showing last season was a fluke. With the Blues sitting in seventh place in the West and chasing Chicago for the division title, the Blues need a stable goaltender in net, and that man is Halak. With Halak as the starter, each goaltender realizes his role, and Elliott can slowly regain his confidence.
But until then, he'd better get used to riding the pine pony.
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