Some things about Elliott getting the shutout compared to when he was supposedly struggling very early in the season. Yes, he was struggling in between.
The early season stuff when everyone said it was Elliott, the only thing he was struggling with was rebounds. The Blues were not getting to those rebounds on top of the Blues giving up ridiculous scoring opportunities - breakaways, 2-on-1s, 3-on-2s, along with being out-manned near the net down low due to forwards standing around and reacting late.
On to last night.
1) The Blues only gave up one odd man break that I remember - the lone Detroit breakaway, which Elliott stopped and deflected into the stands. That is the team supporting the goalie by not giving up numerous odd-man breaks which had been happening way too often - in all games. The Blues improved on this vs Minnesota, Columbus and especially vs Detroit. I am not going to count Chicago, because the Blues gave up plenty of breaks in that game.
2) The Blues did not get out-manned down low ever vs the Wings completely eliminating any 2nd chance opportunities for Detroit. This was not the case vs Chicago, Columbus or Minnesota when the goalies actually had to be better and were for the most part.
3) Elliott gave up very few rebounds and due to #2 the Blues got to all of the "bad" rebounds first. That was not happening in Elliott's early starts this season and were resulting in goals against. I went back using the condensed videos of Elliott's early starts when everyone was blaming the losses on him. Over 75% of the goals he allowed were 2nd chance or odd-man break goals when the defense tried to stop the shooter - which is supposed to be the goalie's responsibility - and Elliott would get beat by the pass. Allen vs Columbus made saves on those very same type of plays that Elliott was struggling to make. Even then, had Columbus beaten Allen on those chances, no one would have blamed Allen - that is how good the saves were.
When the Blues play defense and only allow opponents that one shot on net, out-man the opponent in front of the Blues net, and take away 2nd chance opportunities, they flat out win games. That is how they beat Detroit last night.
One thing they did not do which they had down vs Howard in the past was just fire pucks at him. That first game of the season, the Blues fired puck after puck after puck at him and Howard failed. Last night, the Blues were not shooting at him near enough. Tarasenko, several times, had chances to shoot, tried to make an additional move for a better angle, and that one move (or delay) was just enough time for a Wing to get a stick on Tarasenko's stick screwing up the shot. Blues need to shoot more and skate for rebounds.
Overall, that was an excellent defensive game for the Blues and most of the shots Elliott faced were of the easier variety because of the strong defensive play.
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