Just because the NHL has paused their regular season doesn’t mean us at Philly Sports Network will. We bleed Orange and Black just like you. While Canada has isolated the Coronavirus, the content pushes forward. After 69 games this season, the Philadelphia Flyers are a single point behind first place in the NHL Metropolitan Division. The Flyers goaltending at home this season is a big reason why they’re in playoff contention.
For the majority of this season, Brian Elliott was the better goaltender on the road. At home, Carter Hart is elite. The only other goaltender this season to dress in a Philadelphia Flyers sweater was Alex Lyon. Every goaltender used this season has recorded a win in 2019-2020. Here are the top performances for each Flyers goaltender.
Carter Hart recorded a single shutout this season against the New Jersey Devils at the Wells Fargo Center. In a 4-0 win, Hart saved 25 of 25 shots for a 100% save percentage. Former Philadelphia Flyer, Wayne Simmonds, tied his Devils teammate Kyle Palmieri in high percentage shots. Taylor Hall had a couple of early opportunities to score on Hart, but he would be denied. Ivan Provorov scored the game-winning goal in the second period while on the powerplay.
With about two weeks left in 2019, Carter Hart had another impressive performance against the Anaheim Ducks at the Wells Fargo Center. This was the game where David Kase scored a goal against his brother’s, Ondrej, team. Hart faced a season-high 41 shots and saved 40. Rickard Rackell was the only Duck able to beat Hart. David Kase’s lone goal in six NHL games this season served as the game-winner.
Just like Carter Hart, Brian Elliott’s best game took place on home ice at the Wells Fargo Center. This time, it was a rivalry game. The Pittsburgh Penguins came into Philadelphia and Elliott didn’t allow a goal. The Flyers won, 3-0, off a Jakub Voracek game-winner. Kris Letang played 26 minutes, led the team in shots, and couldn’t figure out “Moose.”
Maybe even more impressive is the other shutout that Brian Elliott recorded in 2020. This time, it was away from the Wells Fargo Center. The Detroit Red Wings were only able to muster 16 shots, but Elliott was electric. Scott Laughton had the game-winner this time around in a 3-0 win. Darren Helm played 16 minutes and had six shots in the loss.
Alex Lyon’s only win this season came against a top-five NHL team in the overall standings. His win against the Colorado Avalanche was huge for the Philadelphia Flyers while Carter Hart was recovering from a rib injury sustained at practice. Brian Elliott needed a break after he took over starting goaltender duties. Against 31 shots, Lyon made 28 saves. In a 6-3 win, Joel Farabee had the game-winner to seal the game.
What stands out about these performances is that the Philadelphia Flyers goaltenders in a backup role have recorded victories against some of the top ten NHL teams. Carter Hart has proven that he can play well against NHL playoff contenders. The eye-opener is that Elliott still is a good hand to fill in and Lyon can win at the NHL level. It’s a great time for Flyers hockey. Solid goaltending with depth is a recipe for a successful NHL team and that resides in Philadelphia.
Photo Credit: Alex Mcintyre