Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Once again, Blues goalies to compete for No. 1 gig

Nashville Predators v St. Louis Blues

ST. LOUIS, MO - FEBRUARY 5: Brian Elliott #1 of the St. Louis Blues is replaced by rookie goaltender Jake Allen #34 also of the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center on February 5, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.

In a recent interview with the Post-Dispatch, Blues GM Doug Armstrong said the club would continue with its annual rite of passage and let its two netminders -- Jake Allen and Brian Elliott -- battle for the starting job.


“We believe that we have two good goaltenders and training camp is going to decide who plays opening night,” Armstrong explained. “That’s how I see it from my perspective.”

St. Louis, and Elliott in particular, has been in this situation before -- first with Jaroslav Halak, then with Allen. It’s often put the club in an unenviable position come playoff time, as head coach Ken Hitchcock has been forced to choose a starter after utilizing a timeshare throughout the regular season. It’s often been reminiscent of the old football adage:

If you have two starting quarterbacks, you really don’t have one.

Which brings us back to the present. In speaking with the Post-Dispatch, Armstrong suggested that Jake Allen -- who started the club’s opening-round playoff loss to Minnesota -- was no longer in a position to learn at the NHL level.

But then he added the club wasn’t ready to officially demote Elliott to No. 2 status.

On Allen: “He can’t apprentice anymore. He put in a good year last year. Now is his time. He’s done the work necessary to compete for that job.”

On Elliott: “I didn’t say he’s coming in as the backup. He could have a great summer and steal the job.”

So, how does this play out? Nobody would blame Elliott for being unimpressed with how things have transpired; he’s been the one constant in goal over the last four years and had the playoff starting gig taken away last year -- despite Hitchcock anointing him the No. 1 in late May.

It’s worth noting that, at the end of last season, Elliott said he hadn’t requested a trade.