The Philadelphia Flyers are already four deep into their goaltending depth, as they’ve recalled Alex Lyon from the AHL. The move was needed after placing Michal Neuvirth back on injured reserve, while Brian Elliott deals with an injury suffered at practice. Calvin Pickard got the start on Saturday night, and may have to take over as the starter for the time being. Lyon meanwhile was off to a fast start in the minor leagues with a .934 save percentage through three appearances, and may be given another chance to prove that he’s ready for the NHL.
For an organization that has struggled finding quality netminders for a long time, the Flyers actually could claim to be one of the deepest at the position. Though none have been able to really post above-average numbers at the NHL for a long stretch, the group of Elliott, Neuvirth, Pickard, Lyon and Anthony Stolarz all have experience at the highest level. That’s not even including super prospect Carter Hart, who has been given the lion’s share of starts for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms this season. Though Hart—a 20-year old netminder who had one of the most impressive junior careers of all time—has struggled through his first taste of professional hockey, he’s going to be given the net consistently for the Phantoms as they try to develop him into an NHL star.
That leaves scraps for Lyon and Stolarz, unless the NHL group proves to need help as they are now. Neuvirth seemingly can’t stay healthy for any length of time, and Elliott now faces injury after colliding with Travis Konecny in practice. It’s not clear how long either will be out, but Pickard hasn’t instilled the kind of confidence needed for a team that was expected to challenge for the playoffs and perhaps even the Metropolitan Division crown. Lyon may earn his chance to take the net in the coming days, something that shouldn’t be out of the question given his fairly impressive NHL debut a year ago. Lyon recorded a 4-2-1 record and .905 save percentage in 11 games during the 2017-18 campaign, and has a history of success in the minors.