OK. So, Brian Elliott isn’t off to a good start in net for the Calgary Flames.
He has lost all three of his starts. He’s allowed 14 goals with a save percentage of only .839. Not good. Not good at all, especially considering the Flames acquired Elliott with the hopes of addressing their goaltending concerns from previous seasons.
Chad Johnson has instead started three of the last four games for Calgary.
Whether it’s Elliott or Johnson in net, the Flames have given up the most goals against in the league, while giving up 30.2 shots against per 60 minutes at five-on-five. That puts them 18th in the league at even strength.
But despite Elliott’s difficult start, a former Blues teammate of his has voiced support for the 31-year-old puck stopper, optimistically stating that a turnaround will happen.
“I wouldn’t worry one bit. That’s just my perspective,” Blues goalie Jake Allen told the Calgary Herald. “He’s one of the most competitive people I have ever met, and he will find his game very soon.
“Obviously, he wanted to get off to a good start (in Calgary), that’s first and foremost, but if it doesn’t go that way, he will rebound and find it. I’m 100 (per cent) about that. I wouldn’t be too concerned if I was a Flames fan.”
That’s reassuring. Maybe.
Elliott enjoyed five strong seasons in St. Louis, playing alongside Allen for three of those seasons. But St. Louis was — and still is — a very structured team under head coach Ken Hitchcock, which certainly bodes well for goalies.
It’s still very early in Elliott’s tenure in Calgary, which also has a new head coach in Glen Gulutzan.
The coach will have an interesting decision coming up next week, with the Flames making a quick two-game stop in the Central Division. They’ll face the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday and the Blues the following night.
Elliott didn’t get a chance to face his old team Saturday. Perhaps he’ll get that opportunity in St. Louis on Tuesday.
Zach Parise on Sunday scored his 300th career NHL goal, a milestone that puts him in rare company.
Parise got the Wild on the board early in the second period versus the New York Islanders, becoming only the third Minnesota-born player to reach 300 career NHL goals.
As per the Wild, Parise joins Dave Christian, who scored 340 goals and 773 points in 1,009 career games, and defenseman Phil Housley, who scored 338 goals and 1,232 points in 1,495 games.
Parise added goal No. 301 of his career later in the second period.
There was no miracle comeback this time for the Winnipeg Jets. No heroics from highly touted rookie Patrik Laine.
Puck drop at the 2016 Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field was delayed due to glare from the sun. When the game did begin, the Jets couldn’t get anything going, falling behind in the second period against the visiting Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers leave Winnipeg with a 3-0 victory.
The Oilers continued to ruin the party with a goal from Darnell Nurse — in the box when Letestu scored — just 1:46 later. And Zack Kassian made it that much more difficult for the Jets to come back with another second-period goal for Edmonton. Three goals in just about eight minutes and it was game over.
The Jets’ record falls to 2-3 — a slow start that puts them at the bottom of a very difficult Central Division.
And their schedule likely won’t do them any favors, either, with home-and-home sets against Dallas and Washington, not to mention some back-to-back games on the road.
Meanwhile, the Oilers have had a completely different start to their season.
A distant memory, it seems. Talbot stopped all 31 shots he faced for the shut out Sunday.
The message from that effort versus Buffalo — the lone blemish on Edmonton’s schedule so far — seems to have been received from the Oilers.
They went on to beat Carolina and St. Louis, and then they took control of Sunday’s contest in the middle period and didn’t give Winnipeg anything from there.
With a power play in the second period, the Winnipeg Jets had a good opportunity to take the lead on home ice in the Heritage Classic.
But instead, it was the Edmonton Oilers cashing in.
Letestu took advntage. That’s his second goal of the season, both coming on the penalty kill.