Neuvirth was injured on Saturday night in a game against the Minnesota Wild. He stopped six of seven shots in the first period, but didn’t return after the first intermission to start the second period. Steve Mason played in relief and picked up the 3-2 victory.
The 28-year-old Neuvirth is 4-2-0 this season with a .859 save percentage and a 3.54 goals against average. Those aren’t exactly stellar numbers.
The Flyers are 7-7-2, good for sixth in the Metropolitan Division.
They’ve done well in the goal-scoring department, coming up with 55 goals so far. The problem is that they’ve still allowed a whopping 59 goals against in just 16 games, which puts them in the comfort of the Calgary Flames in terms of the league’s most porous teams.
Consider the aforementioned Mason, who is 3-5-2 with a 3.41 goals against average and a .880 save percentage. Playing that against the league average of a 2.60 goals against average and a .912 save percentage, you can see that both Mason and Neuvirth are well below the mark.
The plan for the immediate future is to stick Neuvirth on the long-term injured reserve list, which means the Flyers have the cap space to recall Anthony Stolarz. Whether or not he’ll make an immediate difference between the pipes in Philadelphia remains to be seen, but the New Jersey native may be the kick in the pants the team needs.
Mason should get the majority of the starts down the line and that doesn’t necessarily bode well for anyone, but he is in a contract year and that might give him the motivation he needs to pick things up.
After all, the Flyers aren’t losing games because they’re not scoring. They’re losing games because they can’t keep the puck out of their own net.
Next up, Philadelphia faces off against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.