Elliott Ready for Workload as a No. 1
The St. Louis Blues have said Brian Elliott is heading into the season as their No. 1 goaltender.
But nobody has told Elliott.
"I really haven't heard it from the horse's mouth, so to speak, but obviously my parents and friends and family have read stuff on the Internet," Elliott told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It's obviously good to hear those words, that they have confidence in you, but it is all up to you and how you play. There's always somebody knocking on the door."
Elliott and Jake Allen remain after Ryan Miller left as a free agent earlier this summer. Miller was acquired prior to the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline but wasn't able to get St. Louis deep into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"When we traded for Ryan Miller we were obligated to give Ryan every opportunity, but nobody lost sight of how good Brian Elliott was the whole year," Coach Ken Hitchcock told NHL.com earlier in July.
"This is the first time Brian gets to carry the ball for a little while and I think you're going to see Brian play better because he knows he's going to be really counted on now," Hitchcock added. "I look at Brian as No. 1. Whether Jake is a 1A or a 2, we're going to find that out, but right now Brian is No. 1 and our hope is Jake is 1A."
Brian Elliott's job. He's earned it as the incumbent."
Elliott, 29, signed a three-year contract extension on May 19. Miller signed with the Vancouver Canucks on July 1.
"I don't know if that's mental, but I'm just excited about the opportunity," Elliott said. "I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work."
Elliott went 18-6-4 with a 1.96 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage last season; he played in six NHL games after Miller arrived March 2. Elliott is 55-24-7 in three seasons with the Blues, splitting time with Jaroslav Halak, who is now with the New York Islanders.
Allen went 33-16-3 with a 2.03 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League. The 23-year-old played 15 games for the Blues in 2012-13 (9-4-0; 2.46; .905).
"I think we have the most similar types of personalities of anyone that I've played with," Elliott said of Allen. "… It's good to have that kind of sounding board because we're both going to need it at times during the year to talk about the goals we let in or the saves we make. Not that I haven't gotten along with guys in the past, but when you have similar personalities, it makes it a lot easier. He's a good kid and that's what is going to help our team."