It's been an incredibly busy and extremely interesting day in St. Louis. First, the Blues traded for defenseman Jordan Leopold. Next, the team arguably caused even larger waves by sending Jake Allen down to Peoria while officially announcing that the team would use Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott the rest of the year.
Brace yourself, Blues fans. Things are going to get interesting.
Jaroslav Halak, the net is officially yours. Brian Elliott, the backup job is yours seemingly by default. GM Doug Armstrong commented that the Blues would role with a combo of Halak and Elliott the rest of the way, so don't count on Jake Allen making a return to the NHL this season.
Why not keep all three goaltenders at the NHL level? The Blues no longer have room for all three men due to their decision to keep eight defenseman (Leopold makes eight) with the team.
The Blues now place all of their faith in Halak. Honestly, he's not a bad man for the job. His record on the year isn't glamorous (6-5-1) and his save percentage (.897) needs to improve (an improved D would help that), but overall his play hasn't been that bad. He owns a tidy 2.19 GAA and has made some spectacular saves when called upon. Fans shouldn't be concerned with Halak taking over the #1 job full-time.
As for the #2 role, that's where things get interesting. Very few fans have any faith in Brian Elliott, and honestly, it's pretty difficult to argue with them based on Elliott's play (3-6-1, 3.65 GAA) in 2013. However, it's important to remember that Elliott has started just eight games in 2013. Eight. Are we really ready to close the book on one of the best goaltenders from 2011-12 after eight starts and three cameos? If the season was one of normal length fans would admit Elliott is struggling but few would be so desperate to trade one of the men that carried the Blues deep into the playoffs in 2011-12.
Elliott is a piece I believe fits with the Blues beyond the shortened season. As for the present, it'll be fascinating to see what he offers if/when he gets another start.