The Philadelphia Flyers got some bad news, as the team announced goaltender Michal Neuvirth will miss the rest of the regular season with a lower-body injury. What does this mean for their playoff chances?
Injury Update: G Michal Neuvirth will be out for three weeks with a lower-body injury → https://t.co/1xPjRXgjVi
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) March 20, 2016
Neuvirth had been a revelation for Philadelphia this season. Signed to a two-year contract in the offseason, Neuvirth has cemented himself as one of the best backup goaltenders in the league. In 31 games, Neuvirth is tied for the Flyers lead in wins with 17, posting a 17-8-4 record with a fifth place .925 save percentage and a 2.28 GAA. He’s 11th in the league with a .931 even strength save percentage.
Neuvirth and Steve Mason have been an excellent tandem between the pipes, so losing Neuvirth, a good insurance policy in case Mason falters, at the wrong time is awful news with the playoffs just around the corner. Philadelphia sits three points out of the playoff race with 12 games to go.
Coming up to replace Neuvirth is 2012 second-round pick Anthony Stolarz. The 22-year-old has yet to make his NHL debut, performing to a 19-15-7 record, with a .916 save percentage and 2.59 GAA with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the Flyers AHL affiliate. Stolarz will more than likely have to make his NHL debut during a close playoff race, which is less than ideal for the club.
Neuvirth was a huge part of what the Flyers have done so far, even in a backup role. Losing him is tough news for the club’s playoff chances.