Was Elliot terrible or was the team that bad in front of him? Both?
In the first period it was a little bit of both, mostly Elliot though. He let in 4 goals. The 2nd period proves how great the Blues are, because they played like they should have and were able to almost catch up 4-3. And Niemi was a beast - probably the best stopper in the league - the Blues had several chances and those 3 goals that went past Niemi weren't easy ones mind you. So, Blues still played great despite the loss. In an alternative universe where Halak started the game and Niemi wasn't so awesome, this could've been a 4-2 game Blues easily.
The first goal was a bad clearing attempt by Jackman that ended up being a tic-tac one timer right between the hash marks. Probably could have been stopped but due to where the shot was taken I have a hard time faulting Ells entirely for this one.
The second one was a PP goal but was played rather poorly by Elliott. The D completely forgot about Thornton though and didn't help him out any.
Third goal was a 3-on-2 in our favor turned into a 2-on-1 for them when Magnus tripped and Steen unexplainably stopped skating with his man and let him come in unhindered. Elliott wasn't very square to the shooter though and probably should have stopped it. I'd mostly blame Steen for this one though.
4th was a bad giveaway by Bouwmeester but the shot wasn't anything special. Elliott should have had it.
I agree it was both, but I think the flat footed play by the Blues and the Sharks relentless attack was the main culprit of Elliott's off game. It would be different if the guys in front of him were playing well and he was just letting in softies, but that wasn't the case as I saw it. There always has to be a scapegoat though and it's usually the goalie. If Halak had started, it may have been a different game, but nobody really knows that for sure. You're talking about a guy who came in in a 0-4 hole without much expectation and also got better play in front of him than Elliott had. Halak still made some great saves, but they were in different situations that aren't really comparable.
All and all this just reiterates the fact that we seem to hear all the time: you have to play a full 60. One off period can cost you a game and that's exactly what happened here. Heck, this was just one half of a period that cost us this time.