Choosing a Starter: Performances by both goalies giving Flyers good problem


Being a goalie is an important role in the NHL. Many factors of a game rely on the ability of the goalie. If a starting goalie is injured, it is dire to have an efficient player replace him, and do it well so the general manager, coach, team and fans have confidence.

The back-up goalie is just as important as the starting goalie.

One such example is the current issue in Montreal. Carey Price is an exemplary starting goalie. He was injured and the entire fan base of Montreal cringed. But Michael Condon stepped in to take the role of backup and Montreal is still holding first place in the Atlantic Division due to Condon's strong performance. The team hasn’t wavered. Goaltending is highly depended on. Montreal supporters are still confident.

In Philadelphia, there is a similar problem of two dependable goaltenders: Steve Mason, the starter, and Michal Neuvirth, the backup.

Goaltending is a strength in Philadelphia to the point of some debating the question of which player makes the better netminder? Some devotees say Neuvirth should be the starter, while others say Mason should still be the go-to guy.

The Flyers are fortunate to play them both.

Although Neuvirth has better stats currently, with an 6-3-1 record in 12 games, a GAA of 2.12 and a save percentage of .934, as opposed to Mason’s stats of 5-8-4, a 2.73 GAA and .911 save percentage, Mason is still the starter. He is doing a fine job.

As long as they are both playing well, and they both stay healthy, Flyers fans can remain confident with either player in goal. Mason is the starter, so give him that. He always has been, and it will remain that way.

Neuvirth certainly knows how to use his glove and he is very quick. He never shows frustration and this makes him just as dependable. He has all the qualities of a great backup. It helps to have a backup that could easily be starting on other teams in the league, but is content with splitting the net-minding duties and provides as much to the team as the starter.

The hockey season is a long one with 82 games. Let’s not choose one player over the other. Philadelphia can be confident that whoever is in the net for each game will be dependable and adept. And, at the very least, it is no longer the goalie that is the Achilles' heel of the Flyers.

Denise Mroz is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow her on Twitter @denisemroz10.

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