Where does Felix Sandstrom fit into the Flyers puzzle?

Flyers, Felix Sandstrom (Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
Flyers, Felix Sandstrom (Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Felix Sandstrom hasn’t played a game in a Flyers sweater since last year. Bad jokes aside, Sandstrom hasn’t seen action since December 13th in a loss to Colorado. In his absence, Samuel Ersson has been phenomenal since he got lit up by the Carolina Hurricanes in his first start of the season.

With Ersson being pulled in that game and Carter Hart giving up a goal when he got hurt, Ersson got away with not taking a loss due to Hart giving up the deciding goal. With his play as of late, it definitely gives General Manager, Chuck Fletcher, and Head Coach, John Tortorella, something to think about.

Felix Sandstrom is a 6’2″, left-handed catching goalie from Sweden. At 26, Sandstrom was drafted in the 3rd round, 70th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry draft. Sandstrom took some time to get into the NHL and he had to grind and work hard to make it to the NHL.

Felix Sandstrom could be a long-term solution for the Flyers

Samuel Ersson is a 6’3″, left-handed catching goalie also from Sweden. Ersson took a similar route to the NHL as Sandstrom did. Ersson was drafted 5th round, 143rd overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Ersson was overlooked by a lot of teams but was scouted by the Flyers while they were checking in on Felix Sandstrom.

Comparing the two goalies is night and day when looking at stats. In 9 games, Felix Sandstrom has a record of 1-6-1. While Sandstrom was playing during a majority of the Flyers’ struggles and injury bugs, his play was very lackluster. Sandstrom this season has an SV% of .888% and a GAA of 3.37.

Of his 8 starts, only 3 were quality and 2 were really bad. Sandstrom also faced 29 High Danger Chance shots and allowed 5 goals and has also faced 113 good scoring chances and allowed 13 goals.

Sandstrom on special teams has given up 7 powerplay goals after seeing 49 shots and 2 shorthanded goals after seeing 12 shots. Given his combination of last season and this season, his overall numbers are not much better.

Samuel Ersson this season started in the AHL. Head Coach John Tortorella said Ersson was the best goaltender during the preseason, it was only right to give Felix Sandstrom the chance he has earned. Ersson in the AHL this season played 18 games going 9-8-1 with a GAA of 2.72 and an SV% of .910.

Coming into the NHL Ersson has played in 7 games this season with a record of 5-0-0 with 1 shutout. Ersson has a GAA of 2.37 and an SV% of .918. in 6 starts, Ersson had 4 quality starts and 1 really bad start. of the 15 goals given up, 5 were given up while the Flyers were shorthanded on 29 shots. Ersson has seen 32 High Danger Chances and gave up 3 goals. Ersson also saw 84 good scoring chances and gave up 9 goals.

While the play has spoken for itself, Felix Sandstrom is almost done with his 2-week rehabbing stint. The Flyers will have to make a decision on whether they will carry 3 goalies if Ersson will go back to the AHL or gamble and hope Sandstrom can make it through the waiver wire with some teams who are hungry and searching for a goalie.

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The most likely scenario will be Ersson being sent back to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms to get more playing and continue to build his confidence. The Flyers should show off Felix Sandstrom and hope there is a suitor who is willing to work on Sandstrom and build him up as their long-term solution. Only time will tell, but this necessarily isn’t a bad thing for the Flyers but is a tough situation indeed.