Throughout the bye week, we’ll break down the Flyers by position in assessing our midseason grades.
It’s been a season of goaltending unlike any other with a record number seven different netminders saw action in the first 43 games of the regular season.
From a 33-year-old veteran to a 20-year-old rookie and everything in between, here are the seven goalies who have appeared in net for the Flyers through the midway point.
Stats: 6-5-1, 2.66 GAA, .918 save percentage, 12 games
Hart is incredibly mature for a 20-year-old rookie who is quickly becoming the story of the season. His four victories lead all NHL goaltenders over the past 10 days coupled with a .932 save percentage over his last seven starts.
With Hart in net, the Flyers' penalty kill has operated at an 88 percent rate of success, not allowing more than one power-play goal in any of his 12 starts. If Hart continues to build upon his impressive NHL start, he might work his way in as a finalist for the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie.
Stats: 6-7-0, 2.59 GAA, .911 save percentage, 14 games
Provided a sense of stability to the position earlier in the season. The Flyers were 9-9-1 at the time of his injury and 10-14-5 since. Had Elliott stayed healthy, the Flyers very well could be knocking on the playoff door.
Take away the home opener against the Sharks, when the Flyers were a defensive mess, and Elliott has an impressive 2.14 GAA with a .951 save percentage in his other 13 appearances.
Stats: 2-3-2, 3.90 GAA, .880 save percentage, 9 games
One of the few goaltenders whose numbers are not indicative of how well he’s played. Has shown a tremendous amount of mental fortitude working his way back from injury. Started with a solid relief appearance in Toronto, where he stopped 33 of 35 shots followed with impressive road victories at Buffalo and Pittsburgh.
Was counted on in early December to manage the bulk of the workload with six appearances in a 10-day stretch. If Stolarz can build up his game with the Phantoms over the remainder of this season, then he should be a viable option as a backup to Hart next season.
Stats: 4-2-2, 4.01 GAA, .863 save percentage, 11 games
A fringe NHL backup, Pickard was snatched off waivers from the Maple Leafs just prior to the season opener. With a 4-2-2 record in eight starts, Pickard has the highest points percentage (.750) of the seven different goalies who have appeared in a game this season.
Pickard’s best start came in a 31-save shutout Nov. 23 against the Rangers, to only follow that up with a disastrous game at Toronto, where he allowed four goals in 12 minutes. Too erratic in net and only steady enough for the occasional spot start.
Stats: 1-4-1, 4.27 GAA, .859 save percentage, 7 games
Has been an absolutely disastrous season for the 30-year-old free agent who may be playing his final season in the NHL. Can no longer be counted on to stay healthy or be a reliable backup moving forward.
How bad has it been for Neuvirth? Among NHL goalies with at least six starts this season, Neuvirth is 70th out of 71 goalies with an .859 save percentage, and among that group, his one win ties him with Mike McKenna for league low. Neuvirth’s one redeeming stat line — a perfect 4 for 4 in the shootout.
Stats: 0-1-1, 4.22 GAA, .833 save percentage, 1 game
Hard to judge based on one game in net. McKenna allowed four goals in his only start in Washington on Jan. 8. Should be interesting to see how long McKenna remains in Philadelphia with Neuvirth expected to return in the weeks following the All-Star break.
Should see one of the two back-to-back games coming out of the break, either at home against Winnipeg or in New York. Like Pickard, a borderline NHL goalie who has hung around. McKenna’s only win this season came with the Senators against his current Flyers on Nov. 27.
Stats: 0-1-1, 5.08 GAA, .806 save percentage, 2 games
After filling in admirably during the 2017-18 season, Lyon appeared out of place during his one start in Buffalo, where he was pulled after four first-period goals. Didn’t look much better in his next appearance, replacing an injured Stolarz in Vancouver a month later.
Barring another onslaught of injuries, it’s doubtful that Lyon will see action with the Flyers again this season.
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