Just when it appeared the Flyers’ goaltending situation was on somewhat stable ground, Flyers fans received the obligatory bad news that starting goalie Brian Elliott sustained a lower-body injury in Thursday night’s game against the New Jersey Devils. Friday, the extent of the injury was still a bit uncertain, but the length of time for the starter’s recovery was announced:
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) November 16, 2018
It’s a huge blow to the Flyers, who’ve seen absences from Elliott, Michael Neuwirth, Alex Lyon, and Anthony Stolarz this season. Elliott’s been a solid locker room presence and has answered every question in postgame scrums with poise and a refreshing level of candidness. He’s been the team’s best option in goal and now the team finds itself with a big question in goal.
So what next?
For the time being, Alex Lyon has been recalled from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for the second time this season:
He was last called up on November 5th for a game against the Arizona Coyotes, a game in which he served as the backup goalie and did not see time on ice. In his time at Lehigh Valley this season, Lyon is 2-2-0 with a 3.54 GAA and .910 save percentage. While Cal Pickard will likely serve as the team’s primary goalie, Lyon did an admirable job in net last season for the Flyers. In eleven games in 2017-18, he was 4-2-1 with a 2.75 GAA and .905 save percentage.
I don’t expect the Flyers to acquire anyone else in a trade and based on the conversation Anthony SanFilippo and I had with Flyers GM Ron Hextall this past spring on Snow the Goalie, I believe the organization feels comfortable alternating Lyon and Pickard. To that end, don’t hold your breath if you think the team will bring up the highly-touted Carter Hart. The 20-year-old Hart is 4-2-1 with a 3.28 GAA and .893 save percentage. The belief of many around the team is that GM Ron Hextall will continue to be patient with the young netminder as he acclimates to the pro game in the AHL.
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