Tonight, during their Friday night 6-3 win against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, the Philadelphia Flyers set a National Hockey League record. Cam Talbot, who was recently acquired from the Edmonton Oilers on February 15th for fellow netminder Anthony Stolarz, became the eighth goalie to play this season.
“It’s the right opportunity,” said Flyers head coach Scott Gordon. “We don’t want to go back to back with goalies, do as much as we can to prevent that. It’s better for the two goalies so it’s the perfect opportunity for [Talbot] to get in and play.”
Talbot’s Last Appearance
Talbot, who last played on February 9th, was 10-15-3 with a 3.36 goals-against average and .893 save percentage in 31 games with the Oilers.
NHL Record Broken
Prior to tonight, the Flyers had been one of four teams to use seven goalies in a season; the 1989-90 Quebec Nordiques, the 2002-2003 St. Louis Blues and the 2007-08 Los Angeles Kings. Ironically, Philadelphia’s head coach Scott Gordon was one of the seven goalies to play for Quebec.
Eight is Enough: The Flyers Carousel of Goalies
In addition to Talbot, Brian Elliott, Calvin Pickard, Michal Neuvirth, Alex Lyon, Carter Hart, Mike McKenna, and Anthony Stolarz have also played goal for Philadelphia. All this in a season during which the men between the pipes have missed over 100 games due to injury.
Brian has a 8-7-0 record with a 2.58 GAA and .917 save percentage in 19 games this season. Unfortunately, he had missed three months with a lower-body injury sustained on November 15. Earlier on, Elliot provided a real sense of stability to the position. At the time of his injury, the Flyers were 9-9-1 and then slipped out of playoff contention without him. However, since returning to the lineup, he is 2-0-0 with a 2.21 GAA and .940 save percentage in four games.
After being claimed on waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 2, Cal was 4-2-2 with a 4.01 GAA and .863 save percentage in 11 games. Pickard’s best start came in a 31-save shutout November 23 against the New York Rangers. He followed that up with a disastrous game at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he allowed four goals in 12 minutes. Too erratic in net and only steady enough for the occasional spot start, the Flyers waived him and he was claimed by the Arizona Coyotes.
Neuvirth has played seven games but has been out since Jan. 3 with a lower-body injury. When he played he was absolutely disastrous combining a 1-4-1 with a 4.26 GAA and a .859 save percentage in just seven games. Unfortunately for Neuvirth, the 30-year-old free agent may be playing his final season in the NHL.
After filling in admirably during the 2017-18 season, Lyon appeared out of place during his one start against the Buffalo Sabres, where he was pulled after four first-period goals. Didn’t look much better in his next appearance, replacing an injured Stolarz against the Vancouver Canucks a month later. Lyon was 0-1-1 with a 5.08 GAA and a .806 save percentage in his two appearances.
One of the few goaltenders whose numbers are not indicative of how well Stolarz played as a member of the Flyers. He compiled a 4-3-3 record with 3.33 GAA and a .902 save percentage over 12 games. He showed a tremendous amount of mental fortitude working his way back from injury. Started with a solid relief appearance in Toronto, where he stopped 33 of 35 shots followed with impressive road victories at Buffalo and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Rookie sensation Hart, the sixth goalie to play this season when he made his NHL debut on December 18. He leads Flyers’ goalies with 22 games and a 13–8-1 record with a 2.66 GAA and a .917 save percentage. Currently, he is out with an ankle injury sustained at the morning skate prior to a 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on February 21.
McKenna, who was claimed on waivers from Vancouver on January 4, allowed four goals in his only start in Washington against the defending Stanley Cup Champions on January 8. Lyon and McKenna are now with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League.