He went stretches with 20 starts in a row this year and the way he played in the playoffs in the tough environments in Chicago, Dallas, and San Jose and really played well. He gave us a chance to win every game. - Martin Brodeur
Over the past couple of years, Martin Brodeur has had the opportunity to watch new Calgary Flames netminder Brian Elliott flourish.
After Elliott sustained an injury in the early goings of the 2014-15 season, the St. Louis Blues inked the veteran Brodeur to a professional try-out agreement and then a one-year deal.
He ended up appearing in just seven contests with the Blues, officially announcing his retirement in late January of 2015, but St. Louis immediately named him special assistant to general manager Doug Armstrong. Later on that year, the Blues named him assistant general manger.
Moving Elliott was a tough decision for Armstrong, Martin, and Blues, who regarded the 31-year-old very highly.
"He’s a pretty good goalie," Brodeur told Sportsnet 960 The FAN at the 2016 NHL Draft. "We in St. Louis were really fortunate to have him this year with some of the injuries we had. He really carried the play for us in the regular season and the playoffs.
"It was a numbers game for us with Jake Allen ready to take over the number one spot. The crease was a little crowded for us. Brian is a great competitor and a really good goalie and finally he gets the chance to be the number one. He’s been looking for that for a long time.
"The Blues wish him well for sure."
In 2015-16, Elliott posted a 23-8-6 record with a 2.07 GAA, an NHL-best .930 save percentage, and four shutouts. In the playoffs, he made 18 appearances and posted a 2.44 GAA, a .921 save percentage, and one shutout.
"He went stretches with 20 starts in a row this year and the way he played in the playoffs in the tough environments in Chicago, Dallas, and San Jose and really played well," Brodeur praised. "He gave us a chance to win every game.
"I have no doubt he’ll be just fine."
As per long-time analytics expert and NHL.com contributor Rob Vollman, Elliott's underlying numbers over the last three years are just as impressive.
He ranks sixth in save percentage, third in home plate save percentage, and sixth in quality start percentage.
"He’s a good goaltender," Brian Burke said. "He stops the puck. I think all the other stuff that he does is important for a team like ours with a lot of good young goaltenders coming; his work ethic, his attention to details, practive habits. But mainly that he stops pucks.
"Going back to his days in college, he’s a guy that doesn’t allow bad goals. He’s a battler. He gets second effort saves. I think he’s a professional. He’s approached the goaltending position as a professional."