Felix Sandstrom is Latest Flyers Player to Get Injured
Right now, it seems as if the Philadelphia Flyers can’t catch a break. Ryan Ellis looks like his career is done. Sean Couturier is down with a back injury that could cause him to miss part, if not the whole season. Lately, Carter Hart has been battling through some lower body injuries during the start of training camp. Now, it seems that backup goalie Felix Sandstrom has a lower body injury as well. If this is a serious injury, it will put the Flyers in a serious bind.
Hart had a bounce back year, of sorts, last season. Even though the team floundered in last place, Hart’s numbers were respectable (.905 save percentage, 3.16 GAA). They are even more respectable when you consider the revolving door of defenders in front of him.
And while Hart played in a career high 45 games, he did have to cut last season short. Two of Hart’s four seasons had to be ended early as the Flyers had to shut him down due to lower body injuries.
This offseason, the Flyers opted to let Martin Jones, last year’s veteran backup, walk. The former San Jose Shark was a great mentor for Hart and also had a bounce back year of sorts while playing for a losing team. This offseason, Jones signed with the Seattle Kraken and the team turned its attention to two young goalies, Sandstrom and Ivan Fedotov.
Well, Fedotov took himself out of the backup goalie competition by being arrested in Russia for “not serving in the army”. He was sent to a Russian military “installation” and “agreed” to do his duty to his country and not play in the US.
On Saturday, in a 4-0 shutout loss to the Boston Bruins, Sandstrom had to exit the game with a lower body injury. He stopped both of the shots he faced and then left at the end of the first period. It’s a shame because, for the preseason, he has only given up two goals on 34 shots (.941 save percentage). Troy Grosenick filled in for the injured Sandstrom and stopped 20 of 23 shots with the fourth Boston goal coming on an empty netter.
Hart has not played in any of the preseason games as the Flyers are treating their star goalie gingerly. However, they do not have a veteran backstop on the roster. Grosenick has only appeared in four NHL games and Sandstrom has been in five. The other goaltender in camp, Samuel Ersson, hasn’t played in the NHL yet.
And while the Flyers are over the salary cap, they could free up some space by placing Ellis and/or Couturier on long term injured reserve. This could give them funds to sign a veteran, though their aren’t a lot of strong choices out there.
In the meantime, the Flyers will have to evaluate how hurt Sandstrom is. Hopefully it is nothing serious. With the NHL’s cryptic injury statuses, it is hard to tell a day-to-day injury with something super serious. But if Sandstrom is out and Hart is gimpy, the Flyers could be in trouble before they even get out of the gate.