MADISON — Brian Elliott continues to make progress toward a potential return to the lineup this weekend, when the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team faces off with host Michigan Tech. But Elliott still has not taken part in a complete practice — that could come Wednesday, exactly four weeks after the junior goaltender injured his left knee.
Tuesday afternoon Elliott took part in a goalie’s practice and about two-thirds of the Badgers’ regular team practice, before goaltending coach Bill Howard shut him down for the day as a precautionary measure. That was substantial progress from Monday, when Elliott participated solely in a goalie practice. But he still needs to complete a full practice before UW’s coaching staff will consider playing him this weekend.
“In my mind if he is going to participate this weekend he needs to go through a whole practice tomorrow and that will be our goal,” head coach Mike Eaves said.
Eaves said the coaching staff will monitor Elliott’s progress Wednesday and Thursday before deciding if he will play this weekend. If Elliott is between the pipes Friday night, Eaves and his staff will likely wait until Saturday morning to decide whether he will play back-to-back nights.
“Coming into that weekend it’s just the prudent thing to do just to name one goalie and see how things work out,” Eaves said.
Elliott, who leads the nation in wins (18), winning percentage (.864), goals-against average (1.4) and save percentage (.944), said Monday that whether or not he plays this weekend ultimately will be up to him and how his body reacts this week.
“We’re going to have (to) see at the end of the week where we’re at,” Elliott said.
Voting for Hobey Baker continues
Along with Denver defenseman Matt Carle, Elliott is one of the favorites to win the Hobey Baker award, which goes to the nation’s best college hockey player. Elliott has remained on top the CSTV.com Hobey Baker poll throughout the time he has been injured.
Elliott currently ranks second in fan balloting for the award. Fans can vote for Hobey by clicking here.