Philly loves a good underdog. Goaltender Brian Elliott deserves a dog mask after his Game 2 performance for the Philadelphia Flyers.
During the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl run, they adopted an underdog mentality. It worked for them, as several players were seen wearing dog masks. The Philadelphia Flyers have found their underdog in goaltender Brian Elliott.
Two years ago, he was with the St. Louis Blues. Elliott nearly took the team to the Stanley Cup final before eventually running into a lethal San Jose Sharks team. His reward? The Blues, afraid they wouldn’t be able to keep him long-term, traded him to the Calgary Flames.
One year ago, Elliott was the scapegoat. It’s hard to believe after an outstanding postseason, he followed it with a horrible one. Elliott never seemed right with the Flames. Eventually, he got signed by the Flyers to form a goaltending tandem with Michal Neuvirth.
Much like last year, Elliott had his struggles during the regular season. He struggled to adjust to his second new system in two years. After Elliott got a shutout against the New York Rangers to put the Flyers in the postseason, he was named the Game 1 starter.
In Game 1, nothing went right for Elliott. He allowed three goals in the first period and five goals overall. Elliott found himself pulled for trade deadline acquisition Petr Mrazek. It looked like more of the same from him.
Flyers fans were not ecstatic when head coach Dave Hakstol announced Elliott would be the starter for Game 2. One has to imagine he had the shortest leash a goaltender has ever been given. But against all odds, Elliott bounced back. While he wasn’t perfect, he made several outstanding saves.
Elliott even made the play of the game, stopping Sidney Crosby on a breakaway. If that shot goes in, maybe the Penguins get some confidence. But now Pittsburgh’s going to have to head into the pound known as Wells Fargo Center coming off a very tough loss.
Elliott is a perfect example of why people are convinced goaltenders are voodoo. He’s Dr. Jekkyl and Mr. Hyde. Game 2 saw him be the latter. The Flyers are hoping to see more of that Elliott from here on out. Because if they do, who knows? The Flyers might even bring the third championship to Philadelphia in 2018.