"The template of his game is a very consistent template" - Curtis McElhinney
Columbus' goaltending coach, Ian Clark, said several factors are contributing to McElhinney's strong start. "One thing that jumps out at me right out of the gate is just how professional his preparation is," Clark said. Sometimes when you have a serious injury as a netminder "it can tend to sharpen your preparation habits because you don't want to fall back into [the injury]," Clark explained. Having worked extensively with Roberto Luongo in Vancouver, Clark likened McElhinney's "almost religious" dedication to preparing for games and practices to that of Luongo. And when Clark suggested a few tweaks to McElhinney's positional game, the netminder adapted. "He absorbed them incredibly quickly," Clark said. "The template of his game is a very consistent template." The changes, subtle though they might have been, have made a world of difference to the netminder. "I've never felt so good in my net," said McElhinney, who was named goaltender of the month in the AHL for October. "I feel 10 times different than before the injury." "This is one of the most enjoyable starts to a season I've ever had, obviously," added McElhinney, who was a sixth-round pick by the Calgary Flames in 2002 and whose NHL career has included stops in Anaheim, Ottawa and Phoenix. At one point, he was acquired by Tampa but never played for the Lightning. For more on this article Click Here. Ian Clark joined the Columbus Blue Jackets as goaltending coach on June 6, 2011. He joined the organization after serving as the Vancouver Canucks goaltending coach and consultant from 2002-10. In addition to his eight years with the Canucks organization, Clark was also a member of Team Canada’s coaching staff at the World Junior Championships from 2003-06, winning silver medals in 2003 and 2004 and capturing gold in 2005 and 2006. He also served as the Florida Panthers goaltending consultant in 2001-02. The list of goaltenders he has worked with includes Roberto Luongo, Cam Ward, Marc-Andre Fleury, Cory Schneider, Andrew Raycroft, Johan Hedberg and Mathieu Garon.