Brian Elliott has shown time and time again this season that he is a reliable option for the Flyers when needed.
The starting goaltender of the Philadelphia Flyers is Carter Hart. That is a well known fact. But every good team in the league has another goaltender behind their starter that they can trust whenever. And for the Flyers, that is Brian Elliott.
He provides the team with a veteran who has been around the league awhile and knows what it takes. He has seen his far share of time as a starting goaltender. But that changed when Hart came around.
And Elliott took that in stride as Hart became one of the faces of the Flyers. He became a mentor to the young goaltender, helping to guide him through his first year in the league.
And when called upon this season, Elliott made sure to show the team that he could be counted on. When Hart went down during the second half, Elliott steered the ship. He earned a win in five out of seven games played. His 2.06 GAA and .916 SV% are nothing to simply look by either.
So it’s clear he can step in for the Flyers when they need him. There’s a chance he will get some early work in during the next few weeks. Hart has been sidelined the last few days of practice with a mystery injury.
Though he did return on Thursday, it was after the scrimmage. He spent some time on his own, taking shots after the team left the ice. Still, it was a good sign to see him on the ice after his absence.
“But Brian has looked good. Every day I feel that he’s working extremely hard, spending a lot of time with Kim (goalie coach Kim Dillabaugh). He’s going to be ready — there’s no doubt. He’s been a big part of our team and at some point we’re going to need him in these playoffs. And he will play well for us.”
Even though Hart is expected to be ready for the playoffs and will handle the workload, Elliott will be ready to go when needed. He has proven that much to the Flyers.
The workload has gone down for Elliott in recent years. No longer is he a starter in this league. But he still has the numbers to show that he can be counted on. He posted a respectable 16-7-4 record this season.
While his save percentage dipped under .900 for the first time since the 2010-11 season, he posted a better goals against average this season (2.87) than last season (2.96).
Elliott has the playoff experience as well, having appeared in 45 career games. The numbers aren’t the sharpest year by year, especially his latest with the Flyers in 2018.
They look better as a whole as Elliott is sporting a career 2.76 GAA and a .903 SV%. Nonetheless, his experience will still be a help to both Hart and the Flyers as a whole.
His veteran leadership will be an important factor for a young goaltender in Hart. And his ability to step up when needed will be an important factor for the Flyers.