Brian Elliott fitting in quite nicely as Flyers backup

Islanders Flyers Hockey
Philadelphia Flyers’ Brian Elliott in action during an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Following the 2018-2019 season, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher had a decision to make in regards to who he should bring in as the backup goalie. There were two options in particular. The first was Brian Elliott, who joined the Flyers back in 2017 via free agency. The other was Cam Talbot, who came to the orange and black via trade back in February of last season. In the end, the Flyers decided to go with the man they call “moose” and it has paid off so far.

Brian Elliott came into this season knowing all too well that he would not be the go to guy night in and night out. Instead, the “go to guy” would be fan favorite Carter Hart, who at just 21 years old is already making a name for himself. However, that doesn’t mean Elliott doesn’t have a role to fulfill. Instead, he’s the guy who is called upon when Hart hits a bump in the road, or simply needs a rest. Well, Hart has hit a bit of a bump in the road and Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault has called upon the Newmarket, Ontario native a little earlier than expected. Luckily for the Flyers, Elliott has been stellar between the pipes.

In three games played this season, Elliott has a record of 1-1-0 and has a 2.55 goals against average and a .925 save percentage to go along with it. While it’s a small sample size, the Flyers surely are happy to see that they have not one, but two goalies they can rely on.

His first game came a little over a week ago against the Calgary Flames. It was the second game of a three game western Canada road trip for the orange and black. While the Flyers failed to come away with two points, losing 3-1 to the Flames, Elliott did his part by stopping 35 of 37 shots fired his way in the losing effort. This one was by no means on Elliott. It was simply a lack of offensive support.

The next night, Elliott was called upon in relief of Carter Hart versus the Canucks. While he allowed two goals, he did make a spectacular stick save robbing Leon Draisaitl of what looked to be a sure goal. Draisaitl then went onto score a few moments later, but that’s besides the point.

His best performance came just three nights ago versus the Vegas Golden Knights, who were off to a red hot start to begin the 2019-2020 season. The Flyers won by a final score of 6-2. With the amount of goals scored by the orange and black, it’s easy to overlook Elliott and what he did between the pipes. However, without Elliott’s stellar performance in net, this one could’ve been a little too close for comfort. The Flyers gave up an over abundance of high quality scoring chances versus Vegas, but Elliott stood tall making multiple 10-bell saves leading the Flyers to their third win of the season. He stopped 33 of 35 shots fired his way. His ability to move from post to post has been quite noticeable early on this season.

The fact of the matter is, Elliott has given the Flyers a chance to win when he’s been between the pipes. It comes as no surprise that the Flyers will go back to Elliott tonight when the Flyers face off against the Chicago Blackhawks. While Hart hasn’t been bad, Elliott has been the better of the two netminders. With back to back games coming up this weekend, it’s not such a bad thing to give Hart one more night of rest. Puck Drop is set for 8:30PM from the United Center in Chicago.

Mandatory Credit: Matt Slocum/AP Photo