Brian Elliott‘s night didn’t last long. The same is true for the Flames’ foray into the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Needing a win Wednesday to stave off elimination and a first-round sweep against the Anaheim Ducks, Elliott got the start but was pulled less than six minutes in after allowing a bad goal from Patrick Eaves, giving the visitors an early lead.
Speaking to reporters after the game, a 3-1 Flames loss, ending their season, Calgary’s coach Glen Gulutzan admitted he didn’t like the goal Elliott gave up and that he felt his team at that time “needed a spark.”
Gulutzan certainly didn’t waste any time making his decision to pull Elliott.
“As a goalie you take pride in giving yourself and your team a chance to win every night and that, off the bat, I still can’t explain how it goes under my pad there,” said Elliott, per the Calgary Herald.
“I feel bad. I didn’t give our guys a chance right off the bat. It was definitely a short leash – I’m not saying I deserve a longer one after that. It’s tough when you can’t go out and redeem yourself, but the guys went out and did a great job trying to come back. They put it all out there, I’m definitely proud of them.”
That same column also strongly suggested — or stated outright — that the 32-year-old Elliott’s time with the Flames is done after one season.
Acquired last summer from St. Louis, Elliott is a pending unrestricted free agent, per CapFriendly, at the end of a three-year, $7.5 million contract he signed while with the Blues.
He was streaky at times during the season, but ultimately struggled in the latter half of this series, particularly in a Game 3 Flames collapse, before getting the hook after just three shots faced Wednesday.