It caught the eye of general manager David Poile that Ellis and the rest of the defense corps played well without Klein, a veteran of 403 games with Nashville, when he missed two games with the flu. In the three games preceding the trade Ellis totaled two goals and two assists.
"We've always felt highly about Ellis' future," Poile said of the 11th pick in the 2009 NHL Draft. "We just haven't been able to put him in that position to make a contribution that he's making recently. But it's interesting that in at least two of those games Kevin Klein didn't play."
The Rangers will be looking for a sweep of their local rival when they host the Islanders on Friday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). The Rangers edged the Islanders 2-1 at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday in the first outdoor meeting between the teams. That victory gave the Rangers a sweep of their two games in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series; they beat their other Metropolitan area rival, the New Jersey Devils, 7-3 on Sunday.
I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.
— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie