Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Obvious Report - Game 4 is the Biggest of Elliot's Career

In obvious news, tonight is the biggest game of Brian Elliot's NHL career. After seeing Bobby Lou get pulled last night I got to thinking, 'what if Ells stinks it up tonight? What happens if Clouston is forced to bring in Snoopy? Andrew Raycroft is still in the NHL?' Well, the latter question is unrelated to the Sens, but the first two are critical.

Again, this game is Elliot's biggest of his career. While the Sens are looking slower by the shift, Crosby is taking advantage and taking over. If Elliot can stand big and stop The Kid, we can turn this series around. If Pittsburgh wins, related to Elliot's play or not, we have a monster hill to climb.

Let's break it down quick, as I have work to do...

Worst case scenario - Ells cracks under the pressure, plays awful and forces Clouston to pull him, bringing in Leclaire and offering the media a field day. While I'm not a Snoopy Hater, in fact I was a major supporter throughout the season, we've given the reigns to Elliot and will live and die by him. Bringing in Snoopy will hurt Elliot's confidence and create a 'goaltender controversy', of which we're all very sick of...

Not a good scenario - Ells plays ok but the Sens don't. We drop a close one but open up the series to a 3-1 deficit going back to Pitty. Elliot will likely not take a huge load of the blame but there certainly won't be any more Elliot jerseys sold.

Best case scenario - Ells wins tonight. If he wins, he's going to need to be good and minimize his goals against. Don't expect another 5-4 goal fest. Obviously, a win will go a long way for his confidence and put us right back in this series. Case and point, this is Elliot's biggest game.

So, folks, can he do it? Does Elliot have the mojo to steal a game and put us back into this series? Can he handle the pressure that he must feel?

Most fans have been behind him all year, especially since January, and now's the time to rally more than ever. Send out your good vibes today and let's get excited.

Good luck Brian, we're behind you. GO SENS GO!!!


David said...

All excellent points, but they ignore the fact that the biggest single factors in Elliot's success or lack-there-of are the play of the five guys on the ice in front of him (four if there's another bench minor penalty assessed) and the fact that Pittsburgh is just plain better a hockey team.

pynch said...

David - do you think Anderson's Sunday night shutout was due to the 17 shots that the Avs put up? Or the own-goal that Boyle scored? Do you believe that Colorado is a better hockey team than SJ?

I agree that we cannot ignore that the team needs to play well to win - that's a given. I'm just saying that Elliot needs to play his best game tonight. As you said, the Pens are just plain a better hockey team and at this stage of the series, we need Elliot more than ever (can you imagine if he got pulled???).

But if Elliot can not only win but steal the win tonight, a la Anderson, it just may give him and the boys in front of him a greatly needed boost and turn this series around.

You are very correct that we need to be better as a team. But I think we can all agree that we need Ells in a big way tonight!

The Dutch Treat said...

The one thing I worry about this series is that Clouston's inexperience is starting to show. Matching up power vs. power with Spezza/Alfie against Crosby isn't working and he really needed to pull Elliott after he allowed his 4th goal on 16 shots. I mean Martin and Vigneault pulled Halak and Luongo for the same level of performance.

Clouston seems to have a strange loyalty to Elliott and Shannon and that loyalty could be his undoing.