What’s old is new again.
A trio of old(er) goalies are defying aging curves seven weeks into the NHL season. It’s early still, but three of the top-four goalies in save percentage with at least five games played are 35 or older: Mike Smith (38), Marc-Andre Fleury (36) and Brian Elliott (35).
Historically, this is an age where most goalies, if they aren’t already out of the league, start to show their age. With the caveat in mind that there’s still plenty of hockey ahead, here’s a look at how each goalie has performed to date and the historical significance in play if they are able to continue their strong play the rest of the way.
Brian Elliott: 35 years old
At a per-game rate, no goalie has saved his team more goals beyond expected this season than Elliott. The Flyers haven’t exactly been a defensive juggernaut in front of him, with an expected goals against (reflection of shot quality and quantity) of nearly three goals per-game. Elliott’s actual goals-against average sits at 2.03, which means he is saving his team close to a goal per-game.