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Poll: Who should be St. Louis’ starting playoff goalie?

Apr 4, 2012, 10:02 AM EDT

halak elliott

With just three games left in the regular season, it seems St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock is no closer to naming a starting goalie than he was three games ago.

Or three weeks ago.

Heck, even three months ago.

To be fair, it’s not an easy decision for Hitch to make. Both Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott have been exceptional throughout this season and their almost identical workloads suggests there might not actually be a superior choice.

From Sports Illustrated:

What makes the Blues’ “Ell-ak” combination so intriguing is that you just don’t see a truly equal division of work very often anymore, where neither goaltender plays as many as 50 games, but neither has fewer than 30 starts. The Blues with Halak (45 starts) and Elliott (34) are the only playoff-bound team this year with such a make-up.

Who should get the postseason nod? Should there be a nod at all? Some facts to throw your way…

Regular season

Elliott: 23-8-3, 1.48 GAA, .943 save percentage, nine shutouts
Halak: 25-12-7, 1.97 GAA, .925 saves percentage, six shutouts

Size

Elliott: 6-foot-3, 204 pounds
Halak: 5-foot-11, 182 pounds

Playoff experience

Elliott: 4GP, 1-2, 4.14 GAA, .853 save percentage
Halak: 21GP, 9-10, 2.49 GAA, .923 save percentage

Before we put it to a vote, a note about using two goalies in the playoffs. It’s rarely been a recipe for success in the NHL — an equal timeshare hasn’t been done since Boston’s Gerry Cheevers played eight games and Eddie Johnson seven en route to the 1972 Stanley Cup — but it has been done more recently in the American Hockey League.

In 1995, Corey Schwab and Mike Dunham alternated games through the Calder Cup playoffs (sweeping the final 4-0) and ended up splitting the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as AHL playoff co-MVPs. The River Rats played 14 postseason games with Schwab and Dunham each getting seven apiece.

So, the poll….

  1. brycewest - Apr 2, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Why mess with a winning strategy…keep both goaltenders rimed and ready, and ride the hot hand. Hitchcock has been spot on all season with this strategy. Why change it up come playoffs?

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      “keep both goaltenders rimed and ready”

      Is that how they prepare? Different strokes, I guess…

  2. emperorzero - Apr 2, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.

  3. davebabychreturns - Apr 2, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Might as well continue to platoon both goaltenders for the first round at least.

    It’s never too late to ride the hot hand (unless you’re 55 minutes into your fourth loss of a playoff round)..

  4. rainyday56 - Apr 3, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    You left you choice #4: “Who cares? Blues are going out in the first round.”

    • rainyday56 - Apr 3, 2012 at 3:20 AM

      Sorry, that 2nd you should read “out “. Also watch next year when the blues pull a Capitals and throw the season to rid themselves of Hitch.

  5. govtminion - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    The obvious answer is Roman Turek.

    …right?

  6. tmoore4075 - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    I guess you go with what’s working. The problem is that rarely works in the long run in the playoffs. We’ll see soon enough I guess.

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