The Jake Allen experiment has come to an end in the Western Conference Finals.
Before the team boarded the flight to San Jose, where they will be on the brink of elimination, St. Louis Blues’ head coach Ken Hitchcock made the decision to start Brian Elliott in the net once again. This’ll be the first time since Game 3 in which Elliott makes the start between the pipes.
“It’s his turn for Game 6,” Hitchcock said before the team, currently down 3-2 in the series, boarded a flight to San Jose. “We needed the jolt from Jake, we got it to get back into the series… but this has been Brian’s playoffs and we’d like to see him finish the job.”
In his 17 postseason appearances this year, Elliott is 9-8 with a 2.34 goals-against average, a .925 save-percentage and one shutout. He has out-dueled one of the best goalies in the playoffs in Corey Crawford, and dealt with the highest-scoring offense in the Dallas Stars. But after seven goals allowed in two games against the Sharks, Hitchcock made the decision to bench Elliott for Game 4.
Allen made 21 saves on Monday night, during which the Sharks scored four goals off of him, along with two empty-netters, en route to a 6-3 victory.
“For all his career, this has been the first time he’s gone through this, and I think it allowed him to reset it,” Hitchcock said of Elliott getting a break. “I think he’s going to be great.”
He continued on about the reason for giving Elliott, 31, some rest.
“It’s been a mental drain,” Hitchcock said. “This is the first time he’s gone through this and I think (it) allowed him to reset it. I think he’s going to be great tomorrow (Wednesday).”
The puck will drop at 8:0o CST on NBC Sports, as the Blues look to bring it home for Game 7.