Evaluating Brian Elliott as a Backup Goaltender

TAMPA, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 05: Brian Elliott #1 of the Tampa Bay Lightning warms up during a game against the Buffalo Sabres at Amalie Arena on November 05, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 05: Brian Elliott #1 of the Tampa Bay Lightning warms up during a game against the Buffalo Sabres at Amalie Arena on November 05, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Goaltender Brian Elliott just completed his 17th season in the NHL and his 2nd season with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

At 38 years old, it is up in the air whether or not he will be a viable option as a backup for the team next season. His contract with the Lightning also expired after this season.

In his two seasons with Tampa Bay, Elliott has a combined save percentage of 90%. He also has a record of 23-12-5 in 41 appearances. He started in 39 of those appearances. He also had 3 shutouts in his time with the Lightning.

One stand-out stat with Elliott is his goals against average. In Tampa Bay, he finished with a GAA of 2.96. This was the second-highest average he had with any team. The highest was a season he spent with the Colorado Avalanche, where he had a GAA of 3.83 during the 2010-11 season.

Comparing his two seasons with the Bolts separately, his save percentage and goals allowed average were much better during the 2021-22 season than this past one. However, he played in more games this past season than the previous. Thus, he faced more shots and made more saves making it debatable on what was really the better season.

Overall, Elliott had the duty of giving starting goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy breaks every occasional game. He did a quality job of it overall, with a winning record and a save percentage in the 90s.

Yes, the goals against average were a little daunting, with it being one of the higher ones in his career with a certain team. However, the Lightning’s aggressive and fast-paced offense usually did the job of earning him wins by scoring beyond that mark.

Now, the question becomes does it make sense for the Tampa Bay Lightning to bring back Elliott? With the age he is at (38), it is hard to see any reason to, especially with the cap situation the team is in. They also have lots of other players to focus on bringing back, like Alex Killorn.

With that being said, Elliott should be praised for fulfilling a role that needed to be filled.

Next. Finley, Goncalves Seasons Show Promise for Future with Lightning. dark