The Flyers have broken the record for the most starting goalies in a season when Cam Talbot took the ice on Friday night. This is off the back of a crushing loss against the Blue Jackets in OT. Before the Jackets game, they had huge wins against the Penguins and Sabres. In the last 10 games, the Flyers are 6-3-1 with them being seven points back from being in the wild card.
Starting goalie troubles
With eight goalies in net throughout the season, some may chalk this up as a lost season. Others may view it as an epidemic between the pipes. Tying and subsequently breaking a record like eight starting goalies in one season is no easy feat. Additionally, with the team having a -24 goal differential, there is a compelling argument to back up that point. However, with the Flyers being seven points outside the fence, that may not be the case.
There was also had two goalie injuries in Michael Neuvirth and Brian Elliot. Couple that with 5 “pinch” goalies in McKenna, Mrazek, Stolarz, Lyon, and Hart, maybe there was an epidemic this year.
It remains to be seen what the former Oiler and Ranger can produce. Talbot will look to give the team the boost they need to shoot into the playoff picture. He has a total NHL GAA of 2.59 and a save percentage of .915. This means that the nine-year AHL and NHL vet have more than enough experience to make an impact. Talbot was the backup to Henrik Lundqvist when the Rangers made their run to the cup in 2013.
After staying the next two years, he then headed to the Oilers for a four-year stint as the starter. He also set an Oilers record for most wins in a season in 2017. Ultimately, Talbot is exactly what the Flyers needed this season to potentially make a playoff run.
An alternative solution
Contrary to the popular opinion, I don’t believe the enemy is in the pipes. The Flyers are spending too much time in their own defensive zone for any goalie to perform well. They are getting outshot, their puck control is halfway atrocious, and there are too many missed passes. Scott Gordon has been blaming the defense for their struggles and I don’t see that as fair.
If they worked on their offensive rushes and got more aggressive in the O-Zone, they could turn the team around for years to come. It’s easy to blame the charger cord for not charging your phone. However, if the outlet is the problem, you can replace a thousand cords and get the same outcome. If the Flyers want to get out of the below 16 club, they need to rethink why they are there in the first place.
Photo credit via Flickr to Alex McIntyre
stats via NHL.com
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