OTTAWA, ON - JANUARY 29: Brian Elliott #1 of the St. Louis Blues and Team Alfredsson poses prior to the 2012 NHL All-Star Game at Scotiabank Place on January 29, 2012 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Despite his shaky period in the All-Star Game, some Sens fans are kicking themselves about letting Brian Elliott go. Right now the slumping Senators could use a goaltender with Elliott's numbers back between the pipes.
Brian Elliott has been one of the success stories of the season. As part of a goaltending tandem that seems to be on its way to winning a Jennings Trophy, Elliott leads the league in GAA at 1.69 (Halak is fifth at 1.97) and is second in the league in save percentage (.938, barely behind Henrik Lundqvist's .939). Numbers like that can make any team wish that they had him in their crease, but tonight will be especially kick-in-the-pants worthy for the Ottawa Senators.
Elliott was traded to Colorado for Ottawa's current starter Craig Anderson last season, and being on those two teams did his numbers absolutely no favors. He had a .894 save percentage and a 3.19 GAA before the deal, and a .891 SV& and 3.83 GAA afterward. Last season, Elliott won just 15 games total; this season, he's already reached that win count and would love to add win number 16 tonight. Just like Jaroslav Halak got the chance to start against (and shut out) the stumbling Canadiens, Elliott will get a chance to start against the struggling Senators.
The Sens, after getting off to a solid start, have been 3-6-1 in their last ten games. Their recent six game losing streak has seen them getting outscored 28-8, so perhaps those scoring issues that the Blues're having could be resolved for one evening. The Blues have just 11 goals over their last seven games. It speaks to the quality of the goaltending and defense that they've lost just two of those in regulation. Unfortunately, the Blues aren't that good on the road, and the fact that they haven't beaten the Senators at home since 2000 might hold them back.
Jason Arnott will not be playing tonight due to his injured shoulder. Per Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the lines've been switched up by coach Ken Hitchcock:
With Jason Arnott unavailable tonight and perhaps longer because of his shoulder injury, Hitchcock placed Jamie Langenbrunner with Backes and Oshie, and put D'Agostini on a line with Perron and Patrik Berglund.