Sitting at the wrong end of a 3-1 series deficit, the Ottawa Senators have elected to make a change in net, pulling goaltender Brian Elliott and replacing him with Pascal Leclaire.
Elliott has struggled in his first playoff action, and although there’s no shortage of struggling Senators his 0.853 SV% through four games makes it clear that some of the blame for their performance in this series falls on him. It’s completely understandable that the coaching staff would elect to make a change.
Of course, Leclaire isn’t an ideal replacement. He’s bounced between the injured list and on-ice struggles all season; in fact, he’s done it for three of his last four seasons. He doesn’t have much of a career playoff record in the AHL or junior; he’s never won a playoff series in five tries, although his save percentage in some of those games was quite good.
Head coach Cory Clouston has a pair of imperfect options to choose from, and the main consideration at this point must simply be that Elliott isn’t getting the job done. Switching goaltenders may be an act of desperation, but he must do something, and thus it’s completely understandable.