Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Elliott's Back in Goal, and Back to What He's Done in Playoffs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Elliott's Back in Goal, and Back to What He's Done in Playoffs

Article excerpt

DALLAS * Normally when you ask a hockey player about a personnel decision like who should be in goal, they defer. It's not up to them. It's the coach's call. All options are good. We support whatever the decision is.

But when the Blues gathered at Lambert Airport on Tuesday for their flight to Dallas for Game 7, there was agreement: Brian Elliott should be the goalie.

Coach Ken Hitchcock had hesitated on making the call. The topic wasn't really in issue until Elliott was pulled from Game 6 after giving up three goals in the opening period and giving way to Jake Allen. Hitchcock said he wanted to sleep on it on Monday. He said it again on Tuesday.

Ultimately, Hitchcock said the decision was a no-brainer. Of course he would start Elliott.

Even in a lopsided 6-1 win, Elliott's play in goal was a major factor as the Blues advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2001. He made 31 saves, and some of the saves he made would be considered incredible if they weren't the kind of saves Elliott has been making all postseason.

"I wanted to talk to Brian," Hitchcock said Wednesday morning. "Brian showed up at the rink yesterday to stop pucks, which surprised everybody. He wanted to go on the ice. I think he earned the right to go at it. He had a tough start to the game, like our team. He had the tough seven minutes and paid for it. But he's given us a chance to get to the Game 7 again and I couldn't think of a better opportunity for him or for us. Really, a no-brainer to be honest with you, but I wanted to talk to him and be sure he was feeling good about himself."

"I obviously didn't play much in the game," Elliott said after Game 7. "It said non-game players on the ice. I just wanted to get out there and kind of reset the button. It just takes a little bit to get back into where you're comfortable.

After Game 6, Elliott had a talk with Blues assistant general manager Martin Brodeur. Brodeur gave Elliott a history lesson: In the 2003 Stanley Cup Final, Brodeur was in goal for New Jersey and lost Game 6 to Anaheim 5-2. Brodeur was lifted from the game midway through the third period. He was back on the ice in Game 7 talk about a no-brainer and shut out the Ducks 3-0 to win the Stanley Cup. …

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