Originally written on Shutdown Line  |  Last updated 11/19/14
The majority of my posts about the Checkers have been focused on their high-powered offense and whether or not it is sustainable in the long-run. This team's offense and scoring depth has played a large role in their hot start to the season, but something that might be getting overshadowed is the terrific play of goaltender Dan Ellis. After signing a tryout deal and beating out John Muse for the back-up goalie spot on the Checkers, Ellis has been lights out in his first nine games of the season. He currently has the best save percentage in the AHL with a .947 mark and the 5th highest goals against average at 1.71. With his last stint in the NHL being a major flop, not much was expected out of Ellis this year so the numbers he has been putting up are surprising to say the very least. One could say that Ellis has mostly been reaping the benefits of playing behind a strong offensive team like the Checkers, but that statement proves to be false when you look at how much support he has been getting from the rest of the team. The Checkers have actually been outshot 280-286 when Ellis has been in goal. They aren't getting dominated, but Ellis is still facing over 30 shots per night this year, so he has to do a good amount of work every game. That makes his .947 save percentage and two shutouts look even more impressive. Compare that to Justin Peters' .904 save percentage with a little over 27 shots faced per game, and you have to think that Ellis might be in consideration to earn the Checkers starting job relatively soon. Jeff Daniels seems to like the two-goalie tandem so I'm not sure how likely it is that Ellis will earn the starting job, but it's clear that he is performing at a higher level right now. Does this early-season success mean a lot for Ellis' future? Predicting goaltending performance is a quagmire in itself and it's especially difficult here since Ellis has played in only nine games this season. History has shown that a goaltender who performs well in his first 15 games with a team will give him a prolonged chance to show what he can do. So even if Ellis' performance falls off the map over the course of the year, what he is doing right now might be enough to earn him the starting job in Charlotte and possibly a few games with the Hurricanes if Brian Boucher continues to have injury problems. Ellis' great performance this season is a perfect example of how unpredictable goaltending can be in general, seeing how he was signed on a tryout contract after being a below-replacement level goalie in his last full NHL season. Trying to guess how he will perform after this stint is losing a battle, but for the time being, he is one of the main reasons why the Checkers have been as successful as they are this year. Yes, the offense has played a key role but having Ellis stop nearly 95% of the shots he has faced in half their games has factored into more than a couple wins. Jeff Daniels bringing him in on a low-risk deal has proved to be a very good move thus far.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Barkley, Reggie Miller condemn Indiana religious freedom bill

Report: Rick Barnes not expected back at Texas

Metta World Peace interested in coaching at St John's

Knicks want Marc Gasol, do they know what they’re asking for?

New York Rangers are the first team to clinch a playoff spot

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Victorino: I plan on playing every day for Red Sox in 2015

The Rams are still planning on drafting a quarterback

Howard willing to make 'ultimate sacrifice' for Rockets

Pacquiao bought P. Diddy’s house for $12.5M, fight tickets

The Seahawks are already winning the NFL Draft

Fiancée takes stand at Aaron Hernandez's murder trial

WWE unveils Ultimate Warrior statue

WATCH: Tom Brady jumps off tall cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

Angels remove Josh Hamilton banner from front of stadium

Elite Eight preview: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

Support for relocation growing among NFL powers

Mother says special needs son forced to remove varsity letter

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Minnesota Timberwolves: Should they tank?

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

Twins to offer $19 Bloody Mary with pizza slice garnish

Ranking the NBA's hottest coaching seats

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rick Barnes not returning to Texas?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.