The underdog San Jose Sharks may have gotten a bit of a break for their first game against the St. Louis Blues as goaltender Brian Elliot will miss the game with an apparently minor upper body injury, leaving Jaroslav Halak to tend net in their opening match of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN reports that Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock made the decision after Elliot left practice on Tuesday, hoping it won't be serious as they will need thier top goalie for the rest of the series.
"It made the decision pretty easy, so we'll start with Jaro and like everything else, hope for the best," Hitchcock said after practice Wednesday.
As for Halak, his playoff experience two seasons ago while with the Montreal Canadiens led some to believe he would be getting the start over Elliot anyway, though Halak was quick to note he doesn't want to live in the past:
I mean, it was a great experience but it happened in the past. Now we're here. We'll see what happens. I'm going to try and keep it simple and play my game."
Hitchcock feels that Elliot could be ready to go as soon as Thursday, but wasn't 100 percent certain. Goaltender Jake Allen was called up from the AHL and practiced with the team on Wednesday just in case.