Local pro writers chapter nominates Blues' Elliott for NHL's Masterton Trophy

News-DemocratApril 22, 2013 

St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott has been nominated for he NHL's Masterton Trophy by the St. Louis chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

The Masterton Trophy is given to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

The Blues also had a chance to clinch a playoff berth Monday with a Detroit loss, but the Red Wings beat Phoenix 4-0.

Released by the Colorado Avalanche after the 2010-11 season, Elliott signed a two-way contract with the Blues. Expected to be a backup to starter Jaroslav Halak, Elliott instead led the NHL in goals-against average (1.46) and save percentage (.940) and shared the Jennings Trophy with Halak.

Elliott struggled this season coming out of the lockout and was 3-5-1 with a 3.57 goals-against average and .850 save percentage in mid-February.

At one point, Elliott lost his job to rookie goalie Jake Allen and Elliott was a healthy lineup scratch 11 times and played only twice from Feb. 13 to April 1 1.

Elliott kept working hard and battling to keep this spot, even to the point where he accepted a conditioning assignment to Peoria of the American Hockey League.

Elliott posted a shutout in the second of two starts at Peoria, then was recalled to the Blues when Halak suffered a groin injury. Before Sunday's loss in Colorado, Elliott led the NHL in April with an 8-0-1 record, a 1.01 goal-against average and .960 save percentage.

He currently leads the league with three shutouts in Apsril and is 8-2 with a 1.37 goals-against average and .947 save percentage.

That run included three consecutive road shutouts, a streak that ended on a goal by Colorado's Jamie McGinn. Before that he had not allowed a goal on the road in more than 200 minutes.

Goaltending is a main reason the Blues have nine of their last 12 games despite scoring a total of two goals of fewer eight times during tha stretch

Elliott had back-to-back-to-bac shtouts of 1-0, 1-0 am 2-0 and the Blues also posted a pair of 21 shootout victories over Vancouver and Phoenix April 16 and April 18.

The Blues have won three straight at home, one away from thi season-best four-game home winning stream from March 1-16.

Worth noting

* Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeeser has the lonest active streak of playing on consecutive gameinte NHL, but his streak also tops those in the NBA and Major League basebal

Bouwmeester's current streak of playing in 63 2straight gamea is well ahead of NBA leader Russell Westbrook (394 game and baseball's Prince Fielder (360 game).

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, nsanders@bnd.com or on Twitter @NormSanders

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