On Monday afternoon, the Philadelphia Flyers were missing both of their goaltenders from practice. On Tuesday morning it became just one. The Flyers placed Brian Elliott on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. Elliott missed the team’s last game on Thursday.
Elliott last played on January 23rd, a 3-2 overtime victory against the Detroit Red Wings. He made 21 saves in the win. There is no word if the move will be made retroactive to this game. It is likely, though, that Elliott will miss the upcoming two-game road trip.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 30, 2018
Brian Elliott Placed On Injured Reserve
Elliott was signed in the offseason to perform as part of a tandem role with fellow goaltender Michal Neuvirth. An injury to Neuvirth in November forced Elliott into non-stop duty, a situation he performed well in. In two consecutive weeks, Elliott was named a star of the week in the NHL. He was also one of the best goaltenders in the league at the time.
In 38 games this season, Elliott holds a 19-11-7 record. He has posted a 2.77 GAA and .913 during that span. His partner in net has only appeared in 14 total games this season.
It is unsure when Elliott sustained the injury. He was slated to assume the backup role in last Thursday’s game against the Washington Capitals. Elliott participated in morning skate earlier in the day. He was then deemed day-to-day a few hours before the game.
Elliott did skate before practice on Monday morning but came off early as a precaution. The Flyers hoped he would be able to practice on Tuesday. He was placed on IR, however.
Michael Neuvirth To Man Crease, For Now
With Elliott’s stint on IR, Neuvirth will be the starting goaltender on Wednesday night against the Capitals. Depending on the outcome of that game, he may also start Thursday against the New Jersey Devils. In 14 games this season, Neuvirth is 5-6-1 with a 2.46 GAA and a .918 SV%.
With Elliott out for the near future, the Flyers will need Neuvirth to prove that he has what it takes to man the net on a consistent basis.
A positive sign for Neuvirth is that he has appeared in three of the Flyers last six games. Aside from a 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Neuvirth has only given up three goals in his last three previous appearances.
Alex Lyon has seen his fair share of recalls to the NHL but has yet to make his debut. If Neuvirth is to falter in any way in the team’s upcoming games, there is a chance that debut can come sooner than later. Lyon’s status will also depend on how long Elliott is out.
Lyon has performed well recently for the Phantoms. He is coming off a 26-save victory against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in which he allowed no goals. Lyon came into that game after Dustin Tokarski gave up two goals on four shots.
He also shined at the AHL Outdoor Classic against the Hershey Bears. Lyon recorded a 41-save game en route to the Phantoms 5-2 win.
For now, the Flyers will likely rely on Neuvirth to man the net in Brian Elliott’s absence. The Flyers currently hold the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. With 33 games to go, the Flyers need all the points they can get.