Stefan Elliott Will Be in Colorado Avalanche Defense
Desperate times call for desperate measures. That is definitely what might have pushed Colorado Avalanche into recalling Stefan Elliott to their defense. Since it's now certain that Erik Johnson will be off the ice for about two months due to an injury on his knee, the Avalanche were without a choice but to rely on Elliott.
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While the Avalanche can release a sigh of relief, Elliott is all smiles because his call to duty coincided with his birthday. In fact, the new role with a big team is the best present ever the 24 year old could have received.
"Nice little birthday present for me to be up here. It's kind of cool," said Elliott following the hour-long session on the ice.
Though the Avalanche were in a desperate need of a defenseman, they did not compromise on the choice of their replacement. They just had to pick the best player. And sure enough, Elliott was and is still the best because he is currently at the top of the rankings in Lake Erie Monsters by having scored the most goals.
Defensemen are very crucial elements in any team and that is why the Avalanche would not have dared to face any of their opponents without a reliable number of linesmen. As a matter of fact, Johnson's absence meant that the team was vulnerable to losses with just six defensemen.
The move made by the team was rather smart because lack of proper preparation in terms of having enough reserve players has been known to be disastrous. This is because either of the defensemen may not be able to play on the material day probably due to unavoidable circumstances such as illness and accidents that may come calling in the last minutes ahead of the game.
If a team finds itself without enough linesmen, it would be in a dilemma because everyone knows that good defensemen don't grow on trees and so it's not easy to get one on a short notice.
The head coach of Avalanche, Patrick Roy, argued that Elliott is a good player based on the praises that were directed towards him by Erie's coach, Dean Chynoweth. However, Roy pointed out that the upcoming star will not be in the squad that will clash with Predators this Friday.
"[Lake Erie head coach Dean Chynoweth] is very happy with him. We are very happy as an organization," Roy said. "We like his attitude. He will play."
Elliott is quite familiar with the tactics of Avalanche because he has been with them for quite some time because they drafted him in 2009. Moreover, he has been very active in each of the last three seasons and managed to earn himself 6 goals and 12 assists by playing in 58 NHL matches.
The thoughts of familiarity with Avalanche are based on the fact that both the Avs and Erie rely on a uniform strategy. This means that whatever approach is introduced at the Avalanche trickles down to Erie.
Whenever Colorado makes adjustments up here, they are pretty good down there the next day, talking to us and making the adjustments, with guys coming up and down or talking to guys up here," Elliott said. "When they change something, we're trying to do the same thing down there."
Though Elliott has been toggling between NHL and AHL, he now believes that he is no longer where he used to be and hence is sure of being successful in the league.
"For me personally, I think I am the best version of myself that I have been throughout my career," Elliott said. "I'm confident in my abilities. I just know that I've improved. I'm a better player than I have been in the past. Seeing how I have played in the past, there is no reason why I can't play better than that now."
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