Hello and welcome to the latest edition of Between the Pipes! I'm your host, Zach Hopkins, and I look forward to bringing you the latest and greatest news and notes from the Orange and Black each week. Without further ado - let's get it started.
The NHL's free agency period opened up 26 days ago, and provided its usual flurry of moves all over the NHL. Plenty of moves are made within several minutes of the market opening, while other players take quite some time to be signed -- often leading to a discount deal.
GM Ron Hextall still has work to do to build and shape the Flyers roster, while one of the team's biggest struggles last season came from a consistent lack of secondary scoring. Here are several free agents that could make sense in a Flyers uniform come October.
It was not all that long ago when an National Hockey League goaltender with a save percentage above 90 percent was considered to have an above-average season. In more recent years, that has crept up beyond 91 percent and 92 percent is now increasingly used as a benchmark by NHL teams.
The evolution has been extraordinary. If you go back to the time period of the mid-1980s to 1992-93, a save percentage in the neighborhood of 90 percent and a goals against average around 3.00 would make a goalie a Vezina Trophy candidate.
Today's NHL game is much more highly structured than it was in the past. That means less skating room, fewer prime scoring chances and a large-scale decrease in east-west play in favor of a north-south forecheck and back-pressure game. Goaltenders have gotten bigger and bigger, and better athletes are recruited for the position than in the past.