In Monday night’s 6-3 disappointing loss to the San Jose Sharks, the Blues lost more than just two-points. Goaltender Brian Elliott left the game and was subsequently placed on injured reserve this morning with the expectation that he’ll be re-evaluated in a month’s time.
A little more than halfway through the first period Elliott collided with a Shark forward causing Elliott to sustain an injury. After a trainer evaluation, Elliott left the ice and Jake Allen stepped in.
Down the Stretch
With a mere twenty games remaining in the 2015-2016 regular season, the Blues will have to overcome the loss of one of their greatest assets. While Allen is fully capable of stepping up to the pate and performing well enough, losing a veteran net minder with a lot of experience makes it that much more difficult for St. Louis.
The only way that the Blues will find the stride they need to finish off the season on the right foot is if they all find a way to buckle down defensively and, even more importantly, contribute offensively.
The Blues are 17th in the NHL in goals for, having scored 153 in 62 games. While that isn’t as poorly as they could be positioned, it doesn’t provide a sense of calm considering the other top teams in the league sit in the first few places in the NHL in that regard.
A lot of the course of the next 20 games for the team will depend on the performance of Jake Allen. While he’s transitioned into a full-time NHL player rather well this season, not having Brian Elliott there to alternate every couple of games with will certainly make his job harder.
Allen will have to simplify his game and remember that he isn’t the entirety of the Blue’s defense in hopes of performing to the best of his ability so the team can head into the postseason on a high note.
What do you think of Allen’s ability to take the reigns on the rest of the regular season? How bad do you think Elliott’s injury is? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
The game, however, got out of hand as the Blues fell to the Sharks 6-3.
Allen came into the game after having not played since January 8th against the Anaheim Ducks in which he sustained a lower-body injury that had him on injured reserve until just last weekend.
Down the Stretch
There are a mere twenty games remaining in the regular season for the Blues and they will most likely be split between Jake Allen and recent call-up Pheonix Copley.
Although Allen has done rather well in his first season as a full-time NHL goaltender, Elliott’s injury hinders ability to alternate games as fluidly as before and no. 1’s experience will certainly be missed.
Allen and Copley have to find a way to simplify their games and work with the defense of the Blues to be as strong as possible. The forwards will need to up their defensive games as well, while also focusing on improving their offensive production.
The Blues currently sit 17th in the league in regards to goals for with 153 in 62 games played. While that isn’t nearly as bad as it could be, the majority of top teams find themselves in the top five in that regard.
While defense will certainly help St. Louis in the grind of postseason action, not being able to score and have consistency in doing so will lead to their elimination. That’s why it needs to be solved sooner rather than later.
The injury to Elliott won’t destroy the Blues’ season, nor will it hinder their ability to win games. It will, however, make it that much harder to be successful in the playoffs, especially if the veteran net minder finds himself unable to suit-up for the most important games of the season.
What do you think of the injury to Elliott and how it will affect the team overall? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Allison Scott is currently pursuing a journalism degree at the University of Missouri. She is passionate about the NHL and is a fan of both the St. Louis Blues and her hometown Dallas Stars. More articles by Allison can be found on Blackout Dallas where she covers the Stars. Follow Allison on twitter for more hockey and random tweets! @allisonnnscott