Monday, January 30, 2012

The Flyers' 25-Year (and Counting) Search for a Goaltender

Since Ron Hextall won the Conn Smythe Trophy in defeat in 1987 as a rookie, the Flyers have had a revolving door in net that continues today, even after the 9-year signing of Ilya Bryzgalov was supposed to stop all of that.

All told, the Flyers have had 30 different men between the pipes since that loss to the Oilers nearly 25 years ago, and not a single one of them has been able to establish himself as the bona fide No. 1 for more than a season or two. Not Hextall, who as a youngster flip-flopped the starting job with fellow youngster Ken Wregget and who couldn't establish himself as the guy consistently enough in his second go-round. Not high-priced free agent John Vanbiesbrouck, who eventually lost his job to rookie Brian Boucher and never recovered. Not the eccentric, temperamental Roman Chechmanek, who couldn't keep his emotions in check. Not veteran Jeff Hackett, who suffered from vertigo and couldn't stay healthy. Not Martin Biron or Robert Esche, two guys who always seemed to be looking over their shoulders. Not Ray Emery and certainly not Bryzgalov, at least not yet.

It's been a never-ending quest that has ultimately come up empty time and time again. All hope was that Bryzgalov would end the merry-go-round, but halfway through his first season in Orange and Black, he's been outperformed considerably by youngster Sergei Bobrovsky. It's simply more of the same.

Here's a season-by-season look at the men who have tended the net for the Flyers these past 25 years.

1987-88



Regular season
Ron Hextall: 62 gp, 30 w, 22 l, 7 t, .886 sv%, 3.50 gaa
Mark LaForest: 21 gp, 5 w, 9 l, 2 t, .874 sv%, 3.70 gaa
Wendell Young: 6 gp, 3 w, 2 l, 0 t, .866 sv%, 3.75 gaa

Playoffs
Hextall: 7 gp, 2 w, 4 l, .847 sv%, 4.75 gaa
LaForest: 2 gp, 1 w, 0 l, .917 sv%, 1.25 gaa

1988-89
Regular season
Hextall: 64 gp, 30 w, 28 l, 6 t, .891 sv%, 3.23 gaa
LaForest: 17 gp, 5 w, 7 l, 2 t, .871 sv%, 4.12 gaa
Ken Wregget: 3 gp, 1 w, 1 l, 0 t, .822 sv%, 6.00 gaa
Marc D'Amour: 1 gp, 0 w, 0 l, 0 t, 1.000 sv%, 0.00 gaa

Playoffs
Hextall: 15 gp, 8 w, 7 l, .890 sv%, 3.32 gaa
Wregget: 5 gp, 2 w, 2 l, .928 sv%, 2.24 gaa

1989-90



Regular season
Wregget: 51 gp, 22 w, 24 l, 3 t, .892 sv%, 3.42 gaa
Hextall: 8 gp, 4 w, 2 l, 1 t, .868 sv%, 4.15 gaa
Bruce Hoffort: 7 gp, 3 w, 0 l, 2 t, .881 sv%, 3.47 gaa
Pete Peeters: 24 gp, 1 w, 13 l, 5 t, .881 sv%, 3.79 gaa

Playoffs
None

1990-91
Regular season
Hextall: 36 gp, 13 w, 16 l, 5 t, .892 sv%, 3.13 gaa
Wregget: 30 gp, 10 w, 14 l, 3 t, .867 sv%, 3.56 gaa
Peeters: 26 gp, 9 w, 7 l, 1 t, .902 sv%, 2.88 gaa
Hoffort: 2 gp, 1 w, 0 l, 1 t, .850 sv%, 4.62 gaa

Playoffs
None

1991-92
Regular season
Hextall: 45 gp, 16 w, 21 l, 6 t, .883 sv%, 3.40 gaa
Wregget: 23 gp, 9 w, 8 l, 3 t, .865 sv%, 3.57 gaa
Dominic Roussel: 17 gp, 7 w, 8 l, 2 t, .908 sv%, 2.60 gaa

Playoffs
None

1992-93



Regular season
Tommy Soderstrom: 44 gp, 20 w, 17 l, 6 t, .892 sv%, 3.42 gaa
Roussel: 34 gp, 13 w, 11 l, 5 t, .881 sv%, 3.76 gaa
Stephane Beauregard: 16 gp, 3 w, 9 l, 0 t, .854 sv%, 4.41 gaa

Playoffs
None

1993-94



Regular season
Roussel: 60 gp, 29 w, 20 l, 5 t, .896 sv%, 3.34 gaa
Soderstrom: 34 gp, 6 w, 18 l, 4 t, .864 sv%, 4.01 gaa
Frederic Chabot: 4 gp, 0 w, 1 l, 1 t, .875 sv%, 4.29 gaa

Playoffs
None

1994-95
Regular season
Hextall: 31 gp, 17 w, 9 l, 4 t, .890 sv%, 2.89 gaa
Roussel: 19 gp, 11 w, 7 l, 0 t, .914 sv%, 2.34 gaa

Playoffs
Hextall: 15 gp, 10 w, 5 l, .904 sv%, 2.81 gaa
Roussel: 1 gp, 0 w, 0 l, 1.000 sv%, 0.00 gaa

1995-96
Regular season
Hextall: 53 gp, 31 w, 13 l, 7 t, .913 sv%, 2.17 gaa
Garth Snow: 26 gp, 12 w, 8 l, 4 t, .894 sv%, 2.88 gaa
Roussel: 9 gp, 2 w, 3 l, 2 t, .876 sv%, 2.89 gaa

Playoffs
Hextall: 12 gp, 6 w, 6 l, .915 sv%, 2.13 gaa
Snow: 1 gp, - no other stats recorded (played just 1 minute)

1996-97
Regular season
Hextall: 55 gp, 31 w, 16 l, 5 t, .897 sv%, 2.56 gaa
Snow: 35 gp, 14 w, 8 l, 8 t, .903 sv%, 2.52 gaa

Playoffs
Snow: 12 gp, 8 w, 4 l, .892 sv%, 2.83 gaa
Hextall: 8 gp, 4 w, 3 l, .892 sv%, 2.97 gaa

1997-98
Regular season
Hextall: 46 gp, 21 w, 17 l, 7 t, .911 sv%, 2.17 gaa
Snow: 29 gp, 14 w, 9 l, 4 t, .902 sv%, 2.43 gaa
Sean Burke: 11 gp, 7 w, 3 l, 0 t, .913 sv%, 2.56 gaa

Playoffs
Burke: 5 gp, 1 w, 4 l, .860 sv%, 3.60 gaa
Hextall: 1 gp, 0 w, 0 l, .875 sv%, 3.00 gaa

1998-99



Regular season
John Vanbiesbrouck: 62 gp, 27 w, 18 l, 15 t, .902 sv%, 2.18 gaa
Hextall: 23 gp, 10 w, 7 l, 4 t, .888 sv%, 2.53 gaa
Jean-Marc Pelletier: 1 gp, 0 w, 1 l, 0 t, .828 sv%, 5.00 gaa

Playoffs
Vanbiesbrouck: 6 gp, 2 w, 4 l, .938 sv%, 1.46 gaa

1999-00



Regular season
Vanbiesbrouck: 50 gp, 25 w, 15 l, 9 t, .906 sv%, 2.20 gaa
Brian Boucher: 35 gp, 20 w, 10 l, 3 t, .918 sv%, 1.91 gaa

Playoffs
Boucher: 18 gp, 11 w, 7 l, .917 sv%, 2.03 gaa

2000-01



Regular season
Roman Cechmanek: 59 gp, 35 w, 15 l, 6 t, .921 sv%, 2.01 gaa
Boucher: 27 gp, 8 w, 12 l, 5 t, .876 sv%, 3.27 gaa
Maxime Ouellet: 2 gp, 0 w, 1 l, 0 t, .889 sv%, 2.37 gaa

Playoffs
Cechmanek: 6 gp, 2 w, 4 l, .891 sv%, 3.11 gaa
Boucher: 1 gp, 0 w, 0 l, .824 sv%, 4.86 gaa

2001-02
Regular season
Cechmanek: 46 gp, 24 w, 13 l, 6 t, .921 sv%, 2.05 gaa
Boucher: 41 gp, 18 w, 16 l, 4 t, .905 sv%, 2.41 gaa
Neil Little: 1 gp, 0 w, 1 l, 0 t, .862 sv%, 4.00 gaa

Playoffs
Cechmanek: 4 gp, 1 w, 3 l, .936 sv%, 1.85 gaa
Boucher: 2 gp, 0 w, 1 l, .939 sv%, 1.36 gaa

2002-03
Regular season
Cechmanek: 58 gp, 33 w, 15 l, 10 t, .925 sv%, 1.83 gaa
Robert Esche: 30 gp, 12 w, 9 l, 3 t, .907 sv%, 2.20 gaa

Playoffs
Cechmanek: 13 gp, 6 w, 7 l, .909 sv%, 2.15 gaa
Esche: 1 gp, 0 w, 0 l, .929 sv%, 2.00 gaa

2003-04



Regular season
Esche: 40 gp, 21 w, 11 l, 7 t, .915 sv%, 2.04 gaa
Jeff Hackett: 27 gp, 10 w, 10 l, 6 t, .905 sv%, 2.39 gaa
Burke: 15 gp, 6 w, 5 l, 2 t, .910 sv%, 2.55 gaa
Antero Niittymaki: 3 gp, 3 w, 0 l, 0 t, .961 sv%, 1.00 gaa
Little: 1 gp, 0 w, 1 l, 0 t, .750 sv%, 3.64 gaa

Playoffs
Esche: 18 gp, 11 w, 7 l, .918 sv%, 2.32 gaa
Burke: 1 gp, 0 w, 0 l, .889 sv%, 1.50 gaa

2004-05
LOCKOUT

2005-06
Regular season
Niittymaki: 46 gp, 23 w, 15 l, 6 OTL, .895 sv%, 2.97 gaa
Esche: 40 gp, 22 w, 11 l, 5 OTL, .897 sv%, 2.97 gaa

Playoffs
Esche: 6 gp, 2 w, 4 l, .875 sv%, 4.20 gaa
Niittymaki: 2 gp, 0 w, 0 l, .828 sv%, 4.11 gaa

2006-07
Regular season
Niittymaki: 52 gp, 9 w, 29 l, 9 OTL, .894 sv%, 3.38 gaa
Martin Biron: 16 gp, 6 w, 8 l, 2 OTL, .908 sv%, 3.02 gaa
Esche: 18 gp, 5 w, 9 l, 1 OTL, .872 sv%, 4.33 gaa
Michael Leighton: 4 gp, 2 w, 2 l, 0 OTL, .882 sv%, 3.69 gaa
Martin Houle: 1 gp, 0 w, 0 l, 0 OTL, .667 sv%, 30.00 gaa

Playoffs
None

2007-08



Regular season
Biron: 62 gp, 30 w, 20 l, 9 OTL, .918 sv%, 2.59 gaa
Niittymaki: 28 gp, 12 w, 9 l, 2 OTL, .907 sv%, 2.91 gaa

Playoffs
Biron: 17 gp, 9 w, 8 l, .904 sv%, 2.97 gaa

2008-09
Regular season
Biron: 55 gp, 29 w, 19 l, 5 OTL, .915 sv%, 2.76 gaa
Niittymaki: 32 gp, 15 w, 8 l, 6 OTL, .912 sv%, 2.76 gaa

Playoffs
Biron: 6 gp, 2 w, 4 l, .919 sv%, 2.56 gaa

2009-10



Regular season
Michael Leighton: 27 gp, 16 w, 5 l, 2 OTL, .918 sv%, 2.48 gaa
Ray Emery: 29 gp, 16 w, 11 l, 1 OTL, .905 sv%, 2.64 gaa
Boucher: 33 gp, 9 w, 18 l, 3 OTL, .899 sv%, 2.76 gaa
Jeremy Duchesne: 1 gp, 0 w, 0 l, 0 OTL, .750 sv%, 3.53 gaa
Johan Backlund: 1 gp, 0 w, 1 l, 0 OTL, .917 sv%, 3.00 gaa

Playoffs
Leighton: 14 gp, 8 w, 3 l, .916 sv%, 2.46 gaa
Boucher: 12 gp, 6 w, 6 l, .909 sv%, 2.47 gaa
Backlund: 1 gp, no other stats recorded (played just 1 minute)

2010-11



Regular season
Sergei Bobrovsky: 54 gp, 28 w, 13 l, 8 OTL, .915 sv%, 2.59 gaa
Boucher: 34 gp, 18 w, 10 l, 4 OTL, .916 sv%, 2.42 gaa
Leighton: 1 gp, 1 w, 0 l, 0 OTL, .889 sv%, 4.00 gaa

Playoffs
Boucher: 9 gp, 4 w, 4 l, .904 sv%, 3.13 gaa
Bobrovsky: 6 gp, 0 w, 2 l, .877 sv%, 3.23 gaa
Leighton: 2 gp, 0 w, 1 l, .862 sv%, 3.43 gaa

2011-12 (to date)
Regular season
Ilya Bryzgalov: 33 gp, 18 w, 10 l, 4 OTL, .895 sv%, 2.99 gaa
Bobrovsky: 19 gp, 11 w, 4 l, 1 OTL, .919 sv%, 2.42 gaa

Playoffs
TBD

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