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Blues say they hung Elliott ‘out to dry’ in 5-4 loss to Jackets

Brian Elliott, Chris Butler, Dana Tyrell

St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott, right, and Chris Butler, center, watch as a shot by Columbus Blue Jackets’ Dana Tyrell, left, ricochets off Elliott for a goal during the second period of a preseason NHL hockey game Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)


Typically, a veteran NHL goalie can have a rough preseason outing and nobody raises an eyebrow. That’s what the preseason is for, after all -- to shake off the rust and get sharp for the games that count.

Still, eyebrows were slightly raised last night in St. Louis when Blues netminder Brian Elliott surrendered four goals in the first period of an eventual 5-4 loss to the Blue Jackets.

But Blues forward David Backes was quick to defend Elliott.

“Some of those, it doesn’t matter who you’ve got in net,” Backes said, per FOX Sports Midwest. “Your own player touching it and it goes five-hole, a couple that were wide open in the slot and off the bar and in. Those are tough saves for anybody, and we hung him out to dry on a few.”

Elliott heads into 2014-15 as the starter for a Blues team with high hopes to win its first ever Stanley Cup.

It’s also a Blues team that has a history of goaltending letdowns. Hence, the added focus on Elliott, and to a lesser extent Jake Allen, in the preseason.

St. Louis is winless in three exhibition games, with an 0-2-1 record. The Blues’ next chance is Saturday in Kansas City versus Dallas.