Flyers Goalies Prove Money Doesn’t Buy Results


After a huge rivalry win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday, it has become clear that the Philadelphia Flyers have a serious decision to make in regards to who will be defending their net.

Getting the start against the Penguins, backup goalie Ray Emery made 22 saves in his team’s 5-3 victory. Despite the low number of saves, his performance was a classic case of quality

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over quantity, highlighted by a spectacular save early in the third period. Making a quick stop with his left pad on what appeared to be an easy goal for

Evgeni Malkin

, Emery was able to keep the game tied at two apiece and eventually held on to help the Flyers captured their second win of the season.

As excitement over the defeat of the Penguins begins to simmer down, and Saturday’s game against the Red Wings quickly approaches, the consideration of who should be the designated starter is becoming a topic of debate among the Flyers and their fans.

Franchise goalie Steve Mason, has yet to make his way into the win column after five starts this season. Giving up 18 goals and tallying two shootout losses, the starter’s save percentage sits at .878 as his play in the net continues to decline. Missing vital saves and failing to contain the puck have all contributed to an embarrassing 3.83 GAA. Take a look at the averages of every goalie that has played a minimum of five games this season and you will find Mason at the bottom with the highest number in the league.

In his worst performance so far this season, he was pulled after failing to stop four of just 18 shots, as the Dallas Stars appeared to be on their way to a total blowout. Fortunately, the Flyers were able to resort to their backup and came out with a 6-5 overtime win.

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Emery was re-signed by Philadelphia in early July on a one-year deal that cost the club $1 million. Despite going 1-2 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Rangers last season when he started three games of the series due to an upper-body injury sustained by Mason, the backup carries an impressive resume.

Now playing in his 11th season, he currently has an overall record of 137-75-22 and a solid .908 save percentage. Over the course of his career he has shown he can be an asset on any team’s roster. Backing up Blackhawks’ goalie Corey Crawford in the 2012-13 campaign for a second Stanley Cup, Emery went 17-0-1. No, he was not a starter but a record like that isn’t something that should be overlooked.

In his three appearances this season, Emery has given up a total of seven goals on 68 shots. He currently sits 18 slots higher on the charts than his teammate, holding a 2.84 GAA and 11 slots higher in save percentages, making it tough to ignore which of the two are performing at a higher level. Still not sold? Consider this last stat that sets the two goalies apart: Emery has manned the net in both of the Flyers’ wins.

While it does make sense to start the goalie who is getting paid $4.1 million a year, Philadelphia may be costing themselves more than just a chunk of their salary cap. It doesn’t take long to fall behind in a division of potential front-runners such as the Penguins, Rangers and Capitals and a reassessment at goal is a must for the Flyer if they hope to contend. Money does talk, but at the end of the day numbers don’t lie.