Originally written on Shutdown Line  |  Last updated 11/24/12
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

Andrew Desjardins eats cereal out of Stanley Cup

Stephen Curry posts priceless David Lee farewell on Twitter

Michigan AD: Nike deal is largest in the country

Randy Moss beats Antonio Brown in sprints during workout

LeBron James believes his ‘legacy will speak for itself’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Crash at Tour de France sidelines riders

Buehrle drank beer during World Series game he pitched

Redick gives Clippers ‘F-minus’ grade for losing Jordan

Report: PGA pulls Grand Slam event from Trump course

Three things to watch for on Hard Knocks with the Texans

Pierre-Paul could face charges for possession of fireworks

Phillies GM: Chase Utley not a starter at 2B when he returns

T.O. has advice for Donovan McNabb after latest DUI

Sonnen: McGregor is 27 pounds over his weight limit

WATCH: Connor McDavid turns heads in Oilers scrimmage

Member of Pirates grounds crew swallowed by tarp

Video allegedly shows BYU RB recruit being shot

Vin Scully teaching the history of the American flag is a national treasure

Top MLS players at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup

How the Pacers' new identity will look

Matt Bonner blames iPhone 6 for elbow injury, shooting woes

Evaluating Tarasenko’s eight-year, $60M contract

Tigers should accept reality and become trade deadline sellers

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

Top MLS players at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup

Five RBs who could break the Heisman Trophy streak

Watch to watch on Hard Knocks with the Texans

Tigers should become trade deadline sellers

JPP could face criminal charges?

'Corrected' 2015 MLB All-Star Game picks

MLB's 2015 All-Star snubs

Gronk, David Ortiz in latest Dunkin Donuts iced coffee video

The 2015 All-Star reserves & pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

Bryce Harper to skip Home Run Derby

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.