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Meltzer's Player Profiles: Brian Elliott

Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott is a veteran of 471 regular season games and 45 games in the Stanley Cup playoffs

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer / philadelphiaflyers.com

Now in his 12th season in the National Hockey League and third with the Philadelphia Flyers, goaltender Brian Elliott is a veteran of 471 regular season games and 45 games in the Stanley Cup playoffs. A two-time Masterton Trophy nominee (both with the St. Louis Blues and with the Flyers), he's been everything from a backup to a split-time starter and Jennings Trophy winner (2011-12 with St. Louis) as a starter over the course of his career. As a Flyer, he dealt with major injury issues in each of of his first two seasons that cost him large segments of missed time. Elliott is nothing if not a warrior.

Last summer, the Flyers signed Elliott to a one-year contract extension with the intention of pairing him as the veteran half of a goaltending tandem with highly promising youngster Carter Hart. This season, a healthy Elliott has rewarded the team's faith with a solid overall season. While Hart has gotten the lion's share of starts on home ice, where he's been dominant, Elliott has seen widespread usage on the road. Overall, he has posted a 16-7-4 record this season with a 2.87 goals against average and .899 save percentage. 

Known to teammates as "Moose" or "Ells", Elliott has forged a good working relationship with Hart. Elliott is not one to get bogged down in stats -- he cares only about wins and losses. Widely respected for his professionalism, he gets himself ready to play, competes hard and does not believe in making excuses if he falls short of his objective of being the winning goaltender. Elliott also does not care about whether a save looks pretty; he cares only that the puck is stopped. He'll battle just as hard for a second or third save in a sequence as he does for the first.

The back story on the "Moose" nickname is that a close family friend of the Elliott clan, a champion moose caller, passed away during Brian's freshman year at Wisconsin. To honor his memory, Elliott put an image of a moose on the back of his mask, and has kept it there ever since throughout his carer. 

Elliott celebrated his 35th birthday on April 9, 2020. He is an unrestricted free agent after the 2019-20 season. 


FIVE KEY FACTS

1) Elliott has made 23 appearances (19 starts, four relief outings) on the road this season, posting a 12-5-2 record, 3.08 GAA and .896 save percentage. His road victories include two wins in Washington, two in Columbus, one in St. Louis, one in Carolina, one in Toronto, and one in Montreal in addition to earning a regulation point for the team in Pittsburgh.

2) On home ice, Elliott is 4-2-2 this season with a 2.42 GAA and .910 save percentage. His home victories include wins over Vegas, Columbus and Pittsburgh.

3) Elliott has posted two shutouts this season: a 19-save shutout of the Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center in a 3-0 victory on Jan. 21 and a 16-save whitewashing of the host Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 3. The game in Detroit marked the 40th shutout of Elliott's NHL career.

4) Elliott's 25-save victory over the Washington Capitals on March 4, marked the 50th regular season win of Elliott's Flyers career. He is 17th in wins in franchise history. 

5) For his Flyers career, Elliott is 18-for-28 in stopping shootout attempts (.643 save percentage). Specific to this season, he is 14-for-19 (.737 save percentage).


TOP HIGHLIGHTS

1) Jan. 7 @ CAR (1:20, 1st period): Earning a regulation point in Carolina to conclude the roughest road trip of the season (1-4-1) may not have seemed like more than baby-step in the right direction at the time but it helped begin the Flyers' outstanding run that stretched over the next 26 games until the NHL pause. Here, early in the first period, the deadly Andrei Svechkinov went off on a breakaway against the Elliott. The veteran goalie was not fooled by the between-the-legs shot attempt and turned the puck aside.

2) Jan. 21 vs. PIT: Elliott did not see a lot of shots in terms of volume in the Flyers' 3-0 home win over the Penguins in the final game before the All-Star break and bye week but he was tested several times among his 19 saves, especially on the penalty kill. One of Elliott's best saves of the season came early in the third period as he robbed a wide-open Bryan Rust from point-blank range in the slot.

3) Feb. 8, 2020 @ WSH (15:56 2nd period): Among Elliott's 25 saves in the Flyers' 7-2 win over the Capitals, none was tougher than this outstanding pad save that "Moose" made to rob Richard Panik late in the second period. The stop erased a Travis Sanheim turnover and kept the Flyers ahead by three goals at the time.

THEY SAID IT

"We have total confidence in Moose. He is a pro, all the way through. He always battles his tail off for us, and we want to do the same for him. We are lucky because we have two good goalies."

-- Matt Niskanen, Oct. 26, 2019.

HE SAID IT

"I do think tunnel vision is important when you play this game. You can't change what's already happened, whether it's good or it's bad. Just keep plugging forward. There's no magic to it."

-- Brian Elliott, Nov. 2, 2019

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