Flyers Make First Goaltending Cut Official:

Danielle Marie
October 31, 2023  (6:42 PM)

John Tortorella has made it perfectly clear on numerous ocassions who he prefers his goaltenders to be. Even after Samuel Ersson had a rough game on Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks, the head coach came out and straight up declared that while Carter Hart is his starting goalie, and will continue to be, he wants Ersson to figure out the backup role while being on the roster. It's clear Torts is looking for the one-two punch in goal, and if Ersson can get it figured out, he just may have that; provided Hart signs a contract after this season and is cleared in the investigation of the still lingering Team Canada allegations.

Since the start of the season, the Flyers have carried three goalies on their roster. Seemingly because they're afraid if they waive Felix Sandström another desperate team may grab him. That is, until today. Technically, Sandström is still on the Flyers roster, but with today's move, he will spend possibly the next 14 days(the maximum allowed) down with the Phantoms, playing meaningful hockey and getting himself back into gameshape.
The Flyers have two back-to-backs coming up this week and next week. Flyers goalies coach, Kim Dillabaugh, who John Tortorella relies on heavily when it comes to his goalie decisions, does not like to play Hart back-to-back. Hart's stats in back-to-back nights are not the greatest, proving the goalie should not play in back-to-back situations, and as a result over the last two seasons Dillabaugh has always suggested the head coach default to the backup for one of the two games.
With that said, it's worth questioning if today's move may be a suggestion that these next two games are critical for Ersson. If he does not play well in his two starts in those back-to-backs, could the higher-ups possibly decide it's best for him to go regain his confidence with the Phantoms while Sandström serves as the backup for the time being? He's still on his ELC, so even if they decide it's only a temporary move, or a conditioning stint of sorts, they could do it by just re-assigning because he does not require waivers rather than requesting he go on a conditioning assignment(which the league wouldn't allow anyway because he's been playing, and "healthy" conditioning assignments are only allowed if the goalie has been sitting for a lengthy period a la Sandström.)
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I fully suspect this is a huge possiblility. While I don't have any proof, it does seem quite interesting that they opted to make this move now after seeing Ersson struggle in his first two starts, and with two back-to-backs coming up on the schedule.
Now, if Ersson comes out and replicates the goalie from last season in those two starts, it probably puts the breaks on the idea, but the fact that they've made this move in such close succession to those two starts suggests to me that they're at least considering the possiblity.
It could be a move that annoys Tortorella in the short-term, but the GM and PoHO have to do what's best for the team in the long-term, even if their current head coach is not a fan of it.
31 OCTOBRE   |   125 ANSWERS
Flyers Make First Goaltending Cut Official:

Do you think this could be the route they're going with this move?

Yes4838.4 %
No2721.6 %
Maybe1814.4 %
I haven't thought about it3225.6 %
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