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Emery has had a bigger impact on Flyers than he seems to be getting credit for.
Tuesday, 01.21.2014 / 2:54 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
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PHILADELPHIA – Ray Emery might have a losing record. His overall stats, at a glance, might not seem all that impressive.

But if you look closer, and sift through a few things, you’d find that Emery has truly been invaluable at times for the Flyers this season.

Emery has six wins and one shootout loss. That’s 13 of the 56 points the Flyers have to this point this season.

And with the exception of the win he picked up as a relief pitcher for Steve Mason against the Islanders last Saturday – one in which he faced only five shots in 26 minutes (stopping them all) as the Flyers stormed back for a victory – it can be argued that Emery was primary reason the Flyers picked up 11 of those points.

Whether it was the shutout of New Jersey, or the surprising start in Pittsburgh in which he stopped 30 of 31 shots, or even holding down the fort with 31 saves in an overtime win in a rematch with the Devils, Emery has been on point.

Even in some of the losses – a home loss to the Devils that prompted a closed-door meeting in the locker room by the players; A 2-0 loss in Minnesota. A 4-2 loss in Tampa where the offense didn’t show up until there were two minutes left in the game (Emery allowed just three in this game and two against the Devils. The others were empty-netters) - Emery deserved a better fate.

In the seven games (6-0-1) the Flyers have earned a point with Emery in net, his numbers are astounding. He has posted a 1.22 goals against average and a .956 save percentage.

When he made 40 saves in New York Monday, it was only the third time in his career – one that has spanned 10 seasons and 246 games and counting – that he made at least 40 saves and lost. It happened once in 2007 as a member of the Ottawa Senators (against Toronto) and then again in 2012 as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks when he dropped a wild 5-4 game in Philadelphia against the Flyers.

There is an old adage in hockey that says when you have two goalies, you have no goalies – meaning that you need to lean on a true No. 1 guy to be successful in the league.

But that’s likely a belief that is too old-school for the modern game.

Because now, with the game played at a faster speed and with games compacted together more than ever, a capable second goalie can be the difference between a playoff berth and another summer loaded with questions.

“The last year and a half with the lockout season being condensed and with this season being condensed because of the Olympics, even if you have a guy getting the bulk of the work if you want to have a playoff run, you want that guy to be well-rested and have a few nights off,” Emery said. “To have two guys who you are comfortable with, it’s a bonus.”

And Emery has been a bonus if you break it down by individual games. Sure a 2.85 goals against average and a .901 save percentage seem rather pedestrian. But Emery has made only 18 appearances this season, so those numbers are easily skewed by one bad game.

The toughest outing for Emery this season was a 7-2 loss in Chicago in which he gave up six goals in two periods of work.

For the sake of this argument, let’s imagine that game didn’t happen.

If that were the case, Emery would have a 2.57 goals against average and a .911 save percentage.

Steve Mason, who has received high praise – and a new contract to boot – has a 2.56 goals against average and a .915 save percentage.

So where’s the love for Razor?

“It’s a big mental game,” Emery said when talking about how he approaches the role of being the backup. “You get more repetition in practice but mentally there are certain things that I focus on and try to keep things simple when you do play.”

Figuring out that mental game has been a work in progress for Emery, who has certainly changed as a player – and a goalie – over the years.

Once a brash, confident and outspoken young star-in-the-making who led the Ottawa Senators to the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals, Emery has endured a lot of change and overcome a lot of long odds in the injury department just to get back to being a backup goalie.

“You learn from all your successes as well as your mistakes,” Emery said. “You pick up a lot of things along the way too learning how to focus properly and deal with different situations. I think I’m still working at it and hopefully getting even better at it. It’s a system in a bunch of different ways for me – Physically, mentally and strategically. It’s always building toward getting better.”


NOTES: Jake Voracek (upper-body injury) will be a game-time decision for the Flyers. He is expected to test it in pre-game warmups. If he can’t go, the Flyers will play Chris Vandevelde (healthy scratch the last two games) and Jay Rosehill (expected scratch tonight if Voracek goes). They didn’t recall anyone from the Phantoms… Steve Mason gets the start in goal for the Flyers.Only four players skated for the Flyers Tuesday – Hal Gill and Erik Gustafsson, who are likely healthy scratches and Rosehill and Vandevelde, who are on Voracek watch.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo. Email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


C. Giroux 78 22 45 -8 67
W. Simmonds 81 32 28 -7 60
B. Schenn 80 26 33 3 59
J. Voracek 73 11 44 -5 55
S. Gostisbehere 64 17 29 8 46
S. Couturier 63 11 28 8 39
M. Raffl 82 13 18 9 31
M. Read 79 11 15 -5 26
M. Streit 62 6 17 -1 23
S. Laughton 71 7 14 -2 21
S. Mason 23 19 10 .918 2.51
M. Neuvirth 18 8 4 .924 2.27
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