The upcoming NHL season is reportedly set to be 56 games, so 15 games more than a half season. One thing is for sure, a solid goalie tandem will be key for any team hoping to make a run at the Stanley Cup next summer.
During 2019-20 and heading into next season, this has been one of the Flyers’ strengths. Carter Hart is coming into his own as the franchise goaltender and veteran Brian Elliott serves as both a solid backup and mentor to the young phenom.
In a season that follows an abbreviated offseason, managing the goalie workload will be key for the Flyers, who are coming off a second-round playoff exit at the hands of the Islanders. In mind, with 56 games, a perfect split would be Hart for 36 games and Elliott for 20, give or take a few games either way. Of course, these numbers are without the benefit of seeing a schedule yet and this could change when you take into account back-to-back sets or multi-day breaks between games.
We all know Hart wants to play every game he can. However, you can’t always trust an athlete. They’re competitive by nature, sometimes to their own detriment. Hart will push to play as much as he can, but we saw last season that Elliott got time throughout the season and he was sharp in round-robin play. Elliott is a playoff-tested goaltender and needs to be ready, as well.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, of the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, is really a one-of-a-kind goaltender in today’s NHL, playing virtually every game. Other teams don’t have that luxury and really need two goaltenders who can get between the pipes at a moment’s notice.
The Flyers are fortunate enough to have one of the more solid goaltending tandems in the NHL. How they handle it will be a huge key to their success in 2020-21.
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