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Brian Elliott was dealing with ear infection during playoffs

May 7, 2012, 8:56 PM EDT

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 14: Brian Elliott #1 of the St. Louis Blues warms up before Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the San Jose Sharks during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center on April 14, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Mark Buckner/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

St. Louis Blues captain David Backes and head coach Ken Hitchcock emphasized the fact that they didn’t want to discuss injuries after being swept by the Los Angeles Kings because they told Jeremy Rutherford that it would seem like making excuses. Still, if you subscribe to the reasonable theory that “everyone is injured” during the playoffs, then it’s merely a fascinating exercise, so we’ll make note of developments as they come in.

The first interesting bit is that Jaroslav Halak wasn’t the only prominent Blues netminder who wasn’t 100 percent in the playoffs. Rutherford reports that Brian Elliott was dealing with an ear infection during the semifinals.

It’s not as easy to assess how an ear infection might have affected Elliott, but perhaps it had some impact on his balance (they can in some cases). That makes for an unusual ailment, yet far from the strangest thing a player’s dealt with in the playoffs (Backes specifically denied issues with his appendix). One might assume that flying wasn’t exactly a “treat” either. Fighting through an ear infection isn’t on the same scale as many of the other injuries – not pains – that have made some hockey players’ toughness almost legendary, but it makes you wonder how “off” he might have been.

Beyond those questions, one must ask: does that make the question of giving Jake Allen a try any more reasonable?

  1. ron05342 - May 7, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Must be a slow day on the blog circuit.

  2. namriverrat69 - May 7, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    It is too bad he and Halak had these ailments. It would have been nice to play them at their best. It would have been easier if the Blues had played any kind of defense in front ot Elliot instead of all the turnovers. Perhaps next year will be different but with the same Kings winning.

    GO KINGS!!

  3. pavelfitzgerald - May 7, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    An ear infection usually comes with a throat/sinus infection too. Besides that tho flying with an ear infection would be awful. It’s not as bad as breaking a bone or two but would still affect you

  4. sjsharksfan11 - May 8, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    If he’s complaining or using that as an excuse that’s flat out more embarrassing than my Sharks’s yearly choke job.

  5. bleedingteal4life - May 8, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Makes the sharks look like giant pussies. Way to throw salt in the wound st Louis!

  6. mickeyb21 - May 8, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Jake Allen has no NHL experience. You do not throw him to the wolves in a playoff game! That could ruin a young goaltender’s confidence for years to come. Elliott was not the problem. Game 3 maybe, but he was solid in games 1 and 4. Game 2, there was no defense to help him. His save percentage is so low because the Kings stopped shooting in the games they were winning after the 1st period, which was 3 out of 4. Elliott was not the problem and Allen was not an unused solution.

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