With goaltender Steve Mason sidelined because of a back issue, Ray Emery is expected to start tonight. The Flyers are playing again on Sunday though, so could 33-year-old call up Rob Zepp make his NHL debut in that contest? If Emery struggles early tonight, will coach Craig Berube yank him in favor of Zepp?
Whatever happens, Berube and GM Ron Hextall feel confident that Zepp’s capable of playing at this level after his strong showing in the preseason.
“When we sent him down, I told him, ‘Rob you did everything you could accomplish in training camp and if someone goes down, we will feel comfortable bringing you up and giving you a shot,’” Hextall said, per CSN Philly.
“That is pretty much where it is at now. Whether he gets a shot it’s up to him.”
Zepp, who spent nine straight seasons playing in the Finnish and German leagues before returning to North America, has a 2.70 GAA and .918 save percentage in 17 AHL games this season.
He said back in July that he drew inspiration from goaltenders Tim Thomas and Viktor Fasth, who had to take the long road to the NHL. However, if Zepp does play this weekend then he will be making his debut years older than either of them.
“Throughout your career, you always have your doubts,” Zepp said of the possibility that he would ever play in the NHL.
“I always believed in myself and I could do it. I just needed an opportunity. One presented itself in the summer with the Flyers and another has presented itself now.”