Well-rested Elliott a weapon for the Blues

Brian Elliott was benched for Games 4 and 5 of the Western Conference finals, after his level of play declined from earlier levels. Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Perhaps, Brian Elliott was just fatigued. Mentally, physically wiped out. One NHL goalie coach looked at the St. Louis Blues' goaltending situation and didn’t overthink it.

After three games and two losses in the Western Conference finals, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock changed gears in goal, giving Jake Allen the start instead of Elliott in games four and five. We saw a coach in Hitchcock trying to spark his team. The trained eye of a goalie coach instead saw a goalie in Elliott who just needed a breather.