Fixing the Flyers: the goaltenders

GREGORY SHAMUS / NHLI via GETTY IMAGES Anthony Stolarz could be the Flyers' goalie of the future.
GREGORY SHAMUS / NHLI via GETTY IMAGES Anthony Stolarz could be the Flyers' goalie of the future.
Posted: May 10, 2013

KEY STATS

.897: Flyers' total save percentage as a team, regardless of which goaltender was in net (141 goals allowed on 1,371 shots).

78 percent: Shots faced for Ilya Bryzgalov this season (1,066 out of 1,371).

.900: Bryzgalov's save percentage, ranking him 48th out of 57 goaltenders who played a minimum of 10 games during the shortened season.

4: Number of goaltenders to start a game with the Flyers this season -including Bryzgalov (40), Steve Mason (6), Brian Boucher (1), Michael Leighton (1).

4-4-1: Flyers' record without Bryzgalov. It took until Mason's first win (April 16) for the Flyers to get their first win of the season with someone other than Bryzgalov.

1: Shutout for the Flyers this season. (Bryzgalov on Feb. 18, 7-0 vs. Isles)

.944: Save percentage for Mason in a limited sample size (7 appearances). Mason had a 1.90 goals-against average.

2: Righthanded-catching goaltenders in Flyers history, including Mason. Stephane Beauregard (16 games in 1992-93) is the only other. Jean-Sebastien Aubin played in a preseason game.

2,297:45: Total minutes played for Bryzgalov, ninth in the league. Ryan Miller (Buffalo), Pekka Rinne (Nashville) and Ondrej Pavelec (Winnipeg) were the other goalies in the top 10 to not get their teams to the playoffs

28.6: Average shots per game faced by Flyers' goaltenders, near the middle of the pack in the league (13th).

THE NEXT ONE?

For all the hindsight chatter this week about Sergei Bobrovsky's run to finalist for the Vezina Trophy, there was seemingly little mention of the draft pick the Flyers selected as part of that Bobrovsky trade last summer.

With that 45th overall pick, the Flyers nabbed 6-6 Anthony Stolarz, who has panned out to be their first legitimate goaltending prospect in more than a decade. The last one was Maxime Ouellet, their first-round pick in 1999 who ended up playing in 12 NHL games before retiring in 2008.

Stolarz, 19, has led the London Knights to the OHL's championship series. Game 5 is tonight in London, Ontario. His playoff stats (13-4-1, .923 SV%, 2.53 GAA) are nearly as good as his sterling regular season numbers (13-3-2, .920 SV%, 2.29 GAA).

Stolarz, a Jackson, N.J., native, withdrew from the University of Omaha-Nebraska - a nationally ranked program at the time - midway through his freshman season in December. In London, a program the Flyers have close ties with, Stolarz knocked off Kevin Bailie, 21, for the starting job.

The Flyers love Stolarz' agility, size and compete level - and his personality. He's known as a laid-back, low-maintenance goaltender.

Stolarz is probably another two seasons away from making a serious run at an NHL job. He's expected to return to a powerhouse London team, with nearly 18 or 19 players returning next year, where he could represent Team USA in the World Junior Championships and also possibly play in the Memorial Cup next May.

- Frank Seravalli

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