Now that I’ve grown up (ha!) and given up the printed program, at least for the year, there’s only one goofball doing it and that’s Brad Lee in St. Louis. You can find his work at StLouisGametime.com and follow him on Twitter @GTBradLee.
Interesting summer for the Blues, let’s try and parse it out one at a time. Is Jay Gallon really ready to be the #1 on this team and take them farther than Elliot could? Because it seems like they’ve tried to give him the job forever and he’s never seized it with both hands.
If he’s not ready to be the No. 1, the Blues will miss the playoffs by a wide margin. The front office can say whatever they want, but the pedigree of each goaltender was on display at every turn. Brian Elliott arrived in St. Louis signing a league-minimum, two-way contract. He was designated as the backup — if he wasn’t playing in the AHL. And then he pushed Jaroslav Halak for playing time, he won a playoff series, he got picked for the All Star Game twice. Now mixed in were some up and down seasons including one where he sat for a long time and had to go to the minors for a week to get his act together. But he did. When they had to choose between goalies, they always chose not Elliott: Halak over him, Ryan Miller over him and two playoffs ago Allen over him. And then they traded him for a second round pick. But Elliott leaves as the franchise leader in save percentage, goals-against average and shutouts. He’s fourth in wins. And all that was never enough to have the Blues forget that they drafted Allen in the second round of the 2008 draft. They remember how he was the starting goalie for Team Canada at the World Juniors. They know he was an AHL All Star. His resume is awesome. He’s been an elite goaltender at every level. So it’s easy to forget the goals he’s allowed on the faceoff because he wasn’t ready or how one goal in Game 5 against the Wild in the first round made him crumble when the Blues had the momentum. And that’s ignoring the fact that he gets injured. Frequently. Like Saturday night. But I’m sure it will all work out fine.