Lyon soaks up, adapts to its role with the Flyers
Alex Lyon is a guy who likes a regular routine.
But it’s something he has virtually no control over while he was the Flyers’ third goalie. Rolling with the punches is something Lyon feel more comfortable with, waiting for the next call.
“I’m the type of guy who likes to come home every day and I like to eat the same thing and go to sleep at the same time,” said Lyon. “I am very regulated that way. But it’s also a great lesson for me to deal with uncertainty. It has helped me a lot to mature and grow as a person. It sucks, but it’s also part of the concert.
When the opportunity arises, the routines are out of the window and Lyon is ready to pounce. Carter Hart’s injury a few weeks ago opened the door for Lyon to join the Flyers in a replacement role for Brian Elliott. But with that, Lyon goes from the start of two or three games a week with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, to a start there and there with the big club, in addition to sometimes sharing a net in training, which makes it difficult rhythm. .
Lyon’s first appearance this season was a 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Jan.16, which was the second half of a straight game, one night after the Flyers defeated the defending Blues champion from St. Louis.
He had to wait 16 days until his next chance (although he managed two starts with the Phantoms during the NHL All-Star break), and Lyon took advantage of that, claiming a 6-3 victory over the very powerful Colorado. Avalanche Saturday.
“Just contributing is really great,” said Lyon. “That’s what every hockey player wants to do is contribute to the success of the team. At the same time, I got past it and I have to move on and try to bring the same work ethic into everyday life.
Lyon made 28 saves that game and held one of hockey’s best lines in check by allowing only one goal for Mikko Rantanen while keeping Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog off the field. It was, again, the second half of a back-to-back and Lyon stood up straight.
“When I needed Alex against Colorado, he made the difference,” said Flyers coach Alain Vigneault. “Goalies are a big part of any team’s success. We get strong goalies. “
That includes Elliott, who is 13-5-4 this season with a .903 save percentage and just completed a shutout against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday. When Lyon was asked about his studies under Elliott, his face lit up.
“To have a lot of respect for (Elliott) would be an understatement,” said Lyon. “I think he’s a real professional and works his butt. I’ve learned so much from him since I’ve been here. He brings the exact same product to the rink every day, which I aspire to have. Its longevity is proof that it works. Everyone wants him on their team. I strive to be like Brian Elliott. “
After playing 153 professional games, including 138 in the AHL with the Phantoms (record 71-52-12-6, career save percentage of .914), Lyon could offer a little advice itself. But when he looks at Hart, 21, he’d rather be the student than the teacher.
“I try to be a sponge around him but I would never say that to him,” said Lyon, laughing. “But on the ice, watching the things he does, he’s so instinctive. He has such a good base and goalie base. I try to watch and learn as much as I can from these two guys.
Lyon are unsure of having another start this season as Hart draws closer to a comeback. That could depend on whether Hart is ready next week when the Flyers host the Panthers on Monday and travel to the Islanders on Tuesday.
When the time comes, Lyon accepts that he will be sent back to Lehigh Valley. His return will be bittersweet.
“Obviously, the NHL is the No. 1 goal,” said Lyon. “But I am also aware of the reality. But yeah, I miss those guys. It’s been my home for four years and I miss being at the PPL Center every day. I wouldn’t trade (play in the NHL), but it’s a really good second option.