Despite just seeing 14 total shots, Flyers’ goaltender Ray Emery feels like his conditioning stint with the Adirondack Phantoms was a success.
“I felt alright,” Emery told the Adirondack media. “It’s different coming down not knowing the guys you’re playing against and I haven’t played a game in over a month. It was different, but it felt alright.
”The team almost played too good. I didn’t have much action, just some little kind of spurts there. I accomplished kind of what I wanted to do, just wish the team could have won.”
Emery allowed two goals, but it wasn’t due to concentration or limited movement. As Phantoms beat writer Tim McManus pointed out, one came on a bad turnover behind the net and the other was a result of a well executed 2-on-1.
“You want to make it tough on guys to score,” said the 27-year old netminder. “I’m not a guy who makes a lot of huge saves. I just like to play solid and not let in anything I’m not supposed to and also make a few tough saves during a game. I did that, but it wasn’t enough. Sometimes those chances go in, sometimes you get lucky and the guy hits the post, but I’m not too upset about the goals.”
Emery expected to start for the Flyers on Saturday against Tampa Bay. However, the elevated play of Michael Leighton gave general manager Paul Holmgren an option of giving Emery some time to ease back into game shape. According to McManus, Emery didn’t know he wasn’t going to start until about 3:30 PM on Friday.
“As far as injury-wise, 95 percent or something,” Emery said. “Hockey-wise, you’ve got to play a few games and get back in the swing of things, get to the point where you don’t have to think anymore things just happen naturally. I was definitely still thinking about things out there. It’s a process and I’m happy with the way it’s went. I was supposed to be six weeks and I’m at four and pretty much ready to go.”
Emery went down with a sports hernia on Dec. 9 and was expected to be out until late Jan. He is 11-8-1 with a 2.83 goals against with the Flyers.