Halak is a very good goalie...he proved that countless times with MTL when they depended on him. He had a very shaky start this season but he has bounced back and St. Louis' goalie tandem is working out great. People just need to know that because of his small frame he will never be able to play more than 55 games a season, which is why things will work out great in St. Louis for him with Elliot.
It's easy for people to look at the Blues' defensive numbers and conclude that Halak and Elliott must be products of the defense. But if you've watched Blues games this season you'll see that they've both made timely saves to bail out the defense on a number of occasions. It's a case of the both the defense and the goaltending playing well. The goaltenders play well enough to give the team a chance to win and the defense plays well enough to provide support for the goaltenders. I won't say Halak is carrying the team but he certainly deserves as much credit as the defense.
Remember Halak's success in Montreal. It shouldn't come as a surprise that he's been this good for St. Louis.
As for Elliott, he's had some success in the past, has he not? With St. Louis, he's worked hard to replicate that success while eliminating his weaknesses.
I voted product of his team because I think Halak is best suited for a 1A/B role, he can't handle big work load of 65-70 games, mainly due to his 5'11 size. Last year he got off to a hot start, but he cooled off, he had no one to step in for him for a bit. This year Halak started off slowly by Elliot was able to step in, and give Halak a bit more time to regain his form, Halak seems to sometimes go on a bad streak and needs a bit of time to regain his confidence.
I'd put more in the top 20 range than top 10. All goalies stats are somewhat influenced by the team in front of them, some teams allow a lot of high percentage scoring chances, some allow few high percentage scoring chances. St. Louis are a great defensive team, who do a great job of trapping in the neutral zone and limiting odd man rushes (which are one of the highest percentage plays in the game), so I think his stats look better than they would on a team like Toronto, Columbus, Edmonton, etc. When he played for Montreal, they also had a fairly tight defensive system. He's a legit starting goalie IMO, a top 20ish goalie in the league, but not as elite as his stats suggest. Calling him top 10 is IMO kind of crazy, no way I take him over any of these 11:
I think he's more with goalies outside the top 10, like Lehtonen, Niemi, Backstrom, Elliott, Pavelec, Anderson, Rask, Schneider, etc.
One thing though, why does him being small mean he can't handle a full workload? Of the current small starters, Nabokov had 77, 71, 67 and 66 game seasons, Theodore had two 67 game seasons, Thomas doesn't play a tonne (has never played more than 66 games in a season) but he didn't really break out until he was already into his 30s. Irbe is the smallest goalie I can remember, and he had seasons where he played 77, 75 and 74 games. I don't see how being small means you can't play as much, if anything smaller athletes tend to suffer less wear/tear/stress on their bodies, simply because they don't have to carry so much weight around.
I didn't vote, as I think he's a legit starter, but not the franchise goalie/superstar his sv% and GAA would suggest. Didn't really see the option for that one.
Elliott was singlehandedly keeping the team in contention early when Halak was terrible. He stole a few games. At San Jose, at Philly, at Vancouver. When Hitchcock showed up, they both started playing well.
I know people need to come up with a reason for what they think is an aberration, but the Blues have one of the very best impact players in the entire NHL on their roster and it's gone underappreciated because many are chalking everything up to Hitchcock. You put a second year Peyton Manning on the Colts, guess what, they start winning. The Blues now have that guy and his name is Alex Pietrangelo. Beyond the huge effect having an impact player like that has on a team's success, the reason the Blues are winning so much is they have a lot of good players on the ice, and that includes two very strong goaltenders who have made skilled, timely saves again and again this year. Hitchcock doesn't come in and personally block the puck on a breakaway or an odd-man rush. It's at the point this season when I see a breakaway on either goalie, I assume either Halak or Elliott will save it.
Occam's Razor, people. If it looks like a player is performing really well out there, you know what? He probably is and he's probably good.
He`s on a very strong team but also a talented goalie in his own right. The great stats are made possible by the system, but he would be an important quality player on any team, just with worse numbers.
One thing though, why does him being small mean he can't handle a full workload?
It doesn't... unless you're a Habs fan from the Carey Price side of the fence in that old debate. Outside of those threads, I've never seen people go on at length so much about the size of a goalie (especially one that is far from Darren Pang sized, for example).
Back on topic, he's the goalie his career averages suggest; not the one this year's stats do. His stats are better because of the way the team is now playing in front of him, and the Blues are better because of the way he is playing behind them. Wouldn't be surprised if he wins a Cup or two with St. Louis, and becomes the new Osgood who is well-respected for his accomplishments, but always given an * beside his stats because of the coach/team/system/whatever in front of him, or not being regarded as the clear-cut #1 of some tandems he has been a part of.
Now as for the poll, he has carried a team... not all the way, but through some pretty important and unexpected upsets. Is he doing it to some extent with the Blues now? Not nearly the same extent, lol, but there are plenty of nights when he's the biggest difference (and continues to be at his best when busiest), so sure.