Unfortunately for the New Jersey Devils, currently riding on the outside of the playoff bubble in the Eastern Conference, Brian Elliot was injured in a game against the Canucks. Rookie sensation Matt Tkachuk scored a goal and only a few minutes later Elliot was down with a wrist injury. Luckily for the Devils, in that game at least, Chad Johnson came in and almost completely shut the door. He gave up only 1 goal on 37 shots by the high flying Canucks as the Devils managed to steal an OT win after Bjugstad scored the winner roughly midway through the extra period. After the game though, the team learned they would be without Elliot for potentially up to a month. While Chad Johnson is a fine backup goalie with a good amount of experience in NEFHL, he is nowhere near the calibre needed to start in this league and filling in for Elliot should be tough. Neither had shining personal stats this season but Elliot was at least sitting over .500 in terms of his record at 13-10-5 while Johnson is 4-6-1. AHL callup Antoine Bibeau has yet to record a decision and has only seen brief minutes in 3 games this season. Besides the records, their actual personal stats are pretty close as Elliot sports a .880 sv% while Johnsons is slightly worse at .877 sv%. Either way those numbers are brutal but a lot of it can be contribruted to the Devils atrocious penalty kill this year, coming in at 2nd to last in the league, a pathetic 78.2%. While the goalie should hold some of the blame for that number - more of it comes down to the weak defenders in front of him and bad coaching as well. Even worse is the PP is one of the top 10 in the league so throwing away half the special teams every game has definitely cost the Devils a playoff spot so far this year.
Right now there are no rumors of the Devils picking up a goalie to fill in for the absense of Elliot. The hope is he comes back on the quick end of the prognosis, maybe only two weeks instead of a full month. As other teams feel worse about their season maybe a solid 1A becomes available to cover the load, or take over permanent backup duties entirely!