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2018-19 Player Review: Oh yeah, Michal Neuvirth actually played hockey this year

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Well, he sorta did at least.

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

In what was undoubtedly the final year we’ll see Michal Neuvirth in a Flyers jersey, the 31 year old goaltender just played seven games in another injury plagued campaign. Did he at least play well in those final seven games in orange and black? Well ... not exactly.


By The Numbers

Basic Stats

GP SV% GAA Record
GP SV% GAA Record
7 0.859 4.27 1 - 4 - 1

Yeah, Michal Neuvirth was really bad for the Flyers when he did play. His only win came vs. New York in a 32 save performance in Madison Square Garden. He did have a game vs. Carolina before the Christmas break where he didn’t allow a goal and stopped all 23 shots, but it was in relief of Carter Hart who gave up three goals on 10 shots. Neuvirth was injured essentially the entire season. He made his first start vs. the Islanders in a game where he gave up six goals and then didn’t play again until December.

His final start in a Flyers jersey was in early January vs. Carolina where he gave up five goals on 28 shots. This season could not have gone much worse for Neuvirth and it begs the question yet again: why was he re-signed in the first place? But that’s an article for a different day. Neuvy did get into an AHL game this year with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, which was interesting. He picked up the win stopping 31 of 34 shots for his first AHL win since 2013-14.

As far as his advanced numbers go, small sample sizes and whatnot skew them but my god they are still dreadful. He posted an .865 even strength save percentage and an .800 shorthanded. He was just really bad when he actually got into games. He was coming off hip surgery from the offseason which delayed his first start, then there was the undisclosed injury that kept him out til December, then a lower body injury that basically shut him down the rest of the way. At this point I’m pretty sure this video is an accurate depiction of Neuvirth’s current health status.


Three Burning Questions

Did this player live up to our expectations for the season?

I mean ... if we’re being honest ... he kind of did. I fully expected Neuvirth to have an injury plagued season this year and would you look at that, he lived up to it! If we’re talking about production however well that’s another story. He was simply a bad goaltender when he played this season and I will find it hard to believe if he can find a job as a backup in free agency at this point. His production hasn’t been the same since his first year in Philadelphia in 2015-16 and there’s no way a team can look at him and think he’ll stay healthy.

What do we expect from this player next season?

Barring some shenanigans, Neuvirth won’t be back next season. If he does somehow find a job as a backup I think he could maybe be serviceable if he stays healthy but I have no reason to believe he can. He’s not getting any younger and those injuries are only going to drag on longer and longer later into his career.

What would we like to see this player improve on?

Not getting hurt every five seconds. But seriously I don’t know what else to say here. He’s proven to be a goalie who can steal you some hockey games when at full strength, but you know the rest. Neuvy, thank you for the 2016 playoffs where you basically single handedly kept the Flyers from getting swept by Washington in the first round. His game five performance is one that a lot of us will never forget even if the Flyers ended up losing that series.

All data courtesy of hockey-reference and HockeyDB