News: Former NHL goalie Robert Esche told WKTV (Utica, New York) that he will honor the final year of his contract with St. Petersburg SKA and not return to the states in 2009-10. Esche drew interest from the Flyers and Coyotes.
Analysis: Esche, who last played in the NHL with the Flyers during the 2006-07 season, was 21-14-6 with a 1.87 GAA and .912 save percentage in 38 games for St. Petersburg SKA. The 31-year-old netminder showed he can still get it done playing against some of the best competition in the world. Philly was really hoping he would come back and be a backup to Ray Emery, who also played in Russia last season, but it wasn't in the cards. You can leave Esche out of your Draft Day plans.
News:The Sports Xchange reports Ray Emery is the only goalie under contract for the Flyers heading into the June amateur draft. There is a possibility the club will re-sign Antero Niittymaki as a backup, but that seems unlikely as the club looks for some inexpensive experience on the free-agent market, perhaps by even reaching out to former Flyers netminder Robert Esche, who, like Emery, played in Russia last season.
Analysis: Esche, who last played in the NHL with the Flyers during the 2006-07 season, was 21-14-6 with a 1.87 GAA and .912 save percentage in 38 games for St. Petersburg SKA. The 31-year-old netminder showed he can still get it done playing against some of the best competition in the world. Esche had the best years of his career with the Flyers and was even a viable Fantasy option at times. However, it appears if he does return to the NHL, it will initially be as a backup. If that happens, he is going to have minimal Fantasy value Draft Day. Stay tuned.
News: With Antero Nittymaki and Martin Biron on board, the Flyers no longer have Robert Esche on board.
Analysis: Esche is not worth holding onto in any Fantasy formats. He lost nine games and had a 4.33 GAA in limited action in 2006-07.
News: Robert Esche allowed four goals on 14 shots before being pulled in Tuesday's game at Buffalo. Antero Niittymaki replaced him and stopped six of eight shots in the loss.
Analysis: Esche was making his first appearance since Feb. 3 against Atlanta, when he departed due to a stiff neck.
News: Flyers G Robert Esche (neck) dressed as the team's backup goalie Saturday against the Rangers.
Analysis: Evem though Esche is back on the bench, he should only be used in Fantasy leagues which use average points per game in a scoring period.
News: Robert Esche (neck) was still unable to play in Thursday's game against the Maple Leafs. Michael Leighton and Antero Niittymaki handled the goaltending duties in his absence.
Analysis: Esche remains day to day. Keep him reserved in all larger Fantasy leagues until he can officially return and prove his health.
News: Robert Esche (neck) remains on the mend and unable to suit up. Antero Niittymaki served as the backup to Michael Leighton in Monday's win against the Red Wings.
Analysis: There is no rush for Esche to get back, so keep him reserved in all Fantasy leagues until he can officially play and get back into the crease. Right now, that doesn't look all too soon.
News: Flyers G Robert Esche (neck) was not in uniform Saturday against the Blues.
Analysis: Esche remains day to day. When healthy, he is only worth a look in the largest of Fantasy formats which average points per game in a scoring period.
News: Robert Esche (neck) did not dress for Thursday's game against the Penguins, as Michael Leighton served as the backup to starter Antero Niittymaki.
Analysis: Esche remains day to day. When healthy, he is only worth a look in the largest of Fantasy formats which average points per game in a scoring period.
News: With G Robert Esche still bothered by neck spasms, G Michael Leighton dressed for the Flyers for the first time and backed up Antero Niittymaki on Wednesday.
Analysis: Esche is not a recommended Fantasy option in most leagues right now. He is only a low-end option in leagues that use average scoring systems when healthy. He is a day to day candidate.
News: Flyers coach John Stevens opened Saturday's game against the Thrashers with Robert Esche in net -- but only for a few minutes while Nittymaki worked out a stiff neck. Esche faced only five shots, allowing Ilya Kovalchuk's breakaway goal 3:36 into the game, before he was lifted for Nittymaki 6:59 into the game with the score 1-1.
Analysis: Esche is not a recommended Fantasy option in most leagues right now. He is only a low-end option in leagues that use average scoring systems.
News: Robert Esche allowed three goals on 33 shots in Tuesday's game against the Lightning to lose in a shootout.
Analysis: The Flyers are playing so poorly right now that he should be used only in Fantasy leagues of 12 or more teams as a No. 3 goaltender option.
News: Philadelphia's Robert Esche, who made his first start in goal Saturday since a 6-2 loss at Washington on Jan. 9, had 33 saves in a 2-1 loss to the Rangers.
Analysis: Esche and Antero Niittymaki are both going south right now in a hurry. Each is only worth a look as a No. 3 Fantasy goaltender in leagues of 12 or more teams at this point.
News: Robert Esche allowed six goals on 31 shots on net in Tuesday's game at Washington to take the loss.
Analysis: Esche and Antero Niittymaki are both going south right now in a hurry. Each is only worth a look as a No. 3 Fantasy goaltender in leagues of 12 or more teams at this point.
News: Flyers G Robert Esche made 22 saves in a 4-3 loss to the Bruins on Saturday.
Analysis: Esche had been rolling right along and remains the starter for the Flyers with Antero Niittymaki nursing a hip injury. He is 3-2 since being named the replacement for Niittymaki. Esche remains a decent No. 2 or 3 Fantasy option in all larger leagues.
News: Robert Esche allowed three goals on 29 shots in Thursday's game at N.Y. Rangers, but it was not good enough to avoid a loss.
Analysis: Esche had been rolling right along and remains the starter for the Flyers with Antero Niittymaki nursing a hip injury. He remains a decent No. 2 or 3 Fantasy option in all larger leagues.
News: Robert Esche completed his third straight 40-save win for the suddenly surging Flyers on Tuesday night at N.Y. Islanders. "I don't think anybody likes the way we played the third period, but on the same hand in the last 2½ minutes when it was 3-2 it almost seemed like me had more composure than we had in the first 17½ minutes," said Esche, just back from injury. "We just knew that we weren't going to allow ourselves to lose. That is a step in the right direction."
Analysis: Esche is suddenly getting it done and taking advantage of the fact Antero Niittymaki (hip) is sidelined. The other Philadelphia goaltender is 0-7-0 in his past seven, so this might be the chance for Esche to seize back the No. 1 job.
News: Robert Esche, who was relegated to backup duties before he required surgery on the adductor muscle in his groin area, will carry the load for the Flyers while Antero Niittymaki is treated for irritation of his hip. Niittymaki will join the team on its trip to Raleigh, N.C., and then drive to Nashville for a checkup and a possible cortisone shot. Niittymaki received his first cortisone shot in September and is expected to need at least one more to get him through the regular season before undergoing off-season surgery. Esche made 42 saves, helping Philadelphia stop a franchise-record, 10-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.
Analysis: Esche could be used as a possible stopgap Fantasy option while Niittymaki is out with injury. It is likely though Niittymaki will regain his starting job once he comes back from injury. Just be patient and put him on your bench in the meantime.
News: Simon Gagne scored two goals, Peter Forsberg had three assists and Robert Esche made 42 saves, helping Philadelphia stop a franchise-record, 10-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night. "Thankfully, we got the win," coach John Stevens said. "There haven't been a lot of smiling faces around here lately. The bottom line, I thought the work ethic and the fight on the puck was terrific."
Analysis: It appears safe to get him back into the active lineup for Fantasy Week 14 (Jan. 1-7) in all larger leagues and those formats which average points per game in a scoring period.
News: Robert Esche (groin) did not start Wednesday's game at Florida, but he replaced an injured Antero Niittymaki (hip) after two periods. He stopped eight of nine shots he faced.
Analysis: It appears safe to get Esche back into the active Fantasy lineup in all larger leagues which average points per game in a scoring period.
News: Flyers G Robert Esche could be cleared to backup Antero Niitymaki on Saturday, but likely won't make a start until Wednesday or Thursday when the Flyers play back-to-back games at Florida and Tampa Bay.
Analysis: Before Esche got injured, he made six starts and had a 5.64 GAA. The Flyers have been playing somewhat better as of late, but Esche is not a recommended Fantasy option seeing how Niittymaki gets most of the starts in Philly.
News: TSN.ca reports Robert Esche underwent successful surgery to repair a torn groin or abductor muscle on Wednesday.
Analysis: Esche is expected to be sidelined two to four weeks. Martin Houle has been recalled from Philadelphia of the AHL to serve as the backup to Antero Niittymaki, who has been getting a majority of the starts lately anyway.
News: Whether or not Robert Esche will be there as well remains to be seen. Esche played well (37 saves) in the 7-4 win in Anaheim Wednesday night and has had plenty of rest this season with just six starts.
Analysis: If Esche sits, it will be another indication that coach John Stevens is convinced Antero Niittymaki is the Flyers' No. 1 goalie. Niittymaki has gotten 12 of the club's first 18 starts. Neither he or Niittymaki should be used in any Fantasy league right now as the Flyers (3-10-1) are off to their worst start in franchise history.
News: Robert Esche did not start in Monday's game at Toronto, as he has struggled mightily this season. Antero Niittymaki was in between the pipes in his absence.
Analysis: Esche is 1-3 with a 5.32 goals-against average this season. Neither he or Niittymaki should be used in any Fantasy league right now as the Flyers (3-10-1) are off to their worst start in franchise history.
News: The Capitals chased Flyers goaltender Robert Esche on Saturday by scoring four times on eight shots in the opening period. Antero Niittymaki allowed one goal on 11 shots in relief. The Flyers lost 5-3.
Analysis: Esche was fresh off his first win and shutout on Monday against the Blackhawks and that is a big reason he got the start on Saturday. However, Niittymaki is still expected to get the majority of starts for the Flyers. The Flyers TG is still not a strong start right now. The team is just 3-9-1 on the season.
News: Robert Esche recorded his 10th career shutout in the Flyers' 3-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night. "I think my practices the last week have been some of my best practices that I've had all season," said Esche, who making his third start of season.
Analysis: Esche stopped 26 shots in his first win. He was especially sharp in the second period when he made 15 saves and helped kill three Chicago power plays. Antero Niittymaki is still expected to get the majority of starts for the Flyers, but grabbing the rejuvenated Esche as a reserve might be smart. The Flyers TG is still not a strong start right now.
News: The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Robert Esche will probably be in goal against Chicago Monday.
Analysis: Esche has allowed at least four goals in each of his three starts this season and he's still winless. Keep him on your bench. Niittymaki still remains a solid No. 2 or 3 Fantasy goaltender, as does the Flyers TG despite the slow start.
News: New Flyers head coach John Stevens said Antero Nittymaki will start against the Thrashers Thursday, and Robert Esche will be in net at least once in the next three games.
Analysis: The pair have combined for a 4.46 goals-against average. Esche has been brutal in his two starts this season, so keep him reserved for now. He has allowed 13 goals in two games.
News: Robert Esche allowed nine goals on 37 shots in Tuesday's beating at the hands of the Sabres in Buffalo. He turned in a brutal .756 save percentage while taking one for the team.
Analysis: On a positive note, Esche was able to pick up an assist on Jeff Carter's goal in the third period, the only tally of the night for the Flyers. Needless to say, we'll likely see Antero Niittymaki between the pipes on Thursday at Tampa Bay.
News: Antero Niittymaki has been in goal in the Flyers' last four games, posting a 2.73 GAA. Hitchcock, however, said that he is leaning toward using Robert Esche, who stopped 17 shots in Philadelphia's season-opening 4-0 loss at Pittsburgh, against the Sabres.
Analysis: Esche is worth considering in larger leagues because of the team in front of him -- especially if you are in leagues that use weekly averages.
News: The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Robert Esche continues to mire on the bench, while Antero Niittymaki started his third game Wednesday. Niittymaki's torn labrum in his hip was thought to open up playing time for Esche, but the former is playing through it, opting to forego surgery. "He's healthy, he feels great and he's playing really well," coach Ken Hitchcock said yesterday afternoon. "I said this from the start of camp, if one of them is playing really well, I'm going with him. It will be the same thing for Esche when he gets in. If he plays well he'll play."
Analysis: "He's disappointed and he's upset," Hitchcock said of Esche. "Hopefully he looks inward and not outward because we are going to need both goalies and he is going to play." Keep Esche reserved in larger leagues since it's unclear how long Niittymaki will be able to play through this injury.
News: Robert Esche allowed four goals on just 21 shots in Thursday's regular season opener against the Penguins.
Analysis: Esche is the starter for the Flyers now with Antero Niittymaki (hip) not quite at 100 percent, but he will have to do a lot better than this. He remains a decent No. 2 or 3 Fantasy option in seasonal leagues, as is the Flyers TG in most formats.
News: According to published reports, Antero Niittymaki suffered a torn labrum in his left hip and might be sidelined anywhere from six to eight weeks, meaning Robert Esche will be the full-time starter to begin the season. "Antero Niittymaki tore the labrum in his left hip (Tuesday) at the morning skate," said Flyers GM Bobby Clarke. "The MRI shows that there is a tear and the MRI will be sent overnight to Dr. Thomas Byrd in Nashville, Tennessee. We won't know if surgery is necessary until (Wednesday) afternoon. If surgery is necessary, it will be six to eight weeks before he is back playing."
Analysis: Niittymaki is expected to be sidelined until at least mid-November, so Esche's Fantasy value increases significantly. He will be the full-time starter in Philadelphia for at least the first month of the season. Esche is a nice pick in the middle rounds in seasonal leagues. Only draft Niittymaki as insurance in the later rounds if you grab Esche as one of your Fantasy netminders.
News: Head coach Ken Hitchcock told the Philadelphia Daily News that he will go with both Robert Esche and Antero Niittymaki in between the pipes for the Flyers until one emerges as the clear-cut No. 1 goaltender. "That's the only way it is going to work this year," Hitchcock said.
Analysis: Right now, Esche and Niittymaki have decreased Fantasy appeal heading into Draft Day because of their uncertainty. If we had to look into our Fantasy crystal ball, we would say Niittymaki has more upside and is the higher-rated goaltender on Draft Day right now. Look for a similar split to what is happening in Detroit, where the starter gets 60 percent of the starts and the backup sees 40 percent of the action.
News: Esche has been named the starting goaltender for the Flyers in the playoffs over Antero Niittymaki. "We have two really good goaltenders," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We wanted to see how Robert's season unfolded once he got healthy. There were a lot of ebbs and flows since January. Our feeling was we wanted to start with the experienced player and go from there."
Analysis: Esche started the final seven of nine regular season games and the Flyers appear to be a lot more comfortable with experience over youth. At the first sign of trouble, Niittymaki will likely be summoned, but set your cheat sheets for Fantasy playoff leagues accordingly.
News: Coach Ken Hitchcock will roll out Robert Esche for the start on Thursday at New Jersey, his fifth start in the past six games.
Analysis: Hitchcock appears to be leaning more towards Esche as his starter for the playoffs rather than Antero Niittymaki. In any event, set your daily Fantasy lineups accordingly.
News: Robert Esche shook off a bout with the flu to start Sunday's game at N.Y. Islanders. He allowed just one goal on 32 shots to pick up a win.
Analysis: Esche picked up the win and might be rewarded with another start on Tuesday at N.Y. Rangers, as Antero Niittymaki has been shaky lately. Esche is 2-2-1 with a 3.83 GAA against the Rangers in five games this season, while Niittymaki won his only start and has posted a 3.77 GAA in two games against the Blueshirts.
News: Robert Esche is expected to start Sunday's game at N.Y. Islanders after Antero Niittymaki allowed four goals on 31 shots in Saturday's game against New Jersey.
Analysis: Set your daily Fantasy lineups accordingly, as Esche might be a decent play against the Isles.
News: Antero Niittymaki continued to make his case that he should be the Flyers postseason goalie by winning his third game out of the last four on Saturday. Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock hasn't decided if he'll start the rookie Niittymaki or Robert Esche in the playoffs.
Analysis: Niittymaki, only the fifth first-year goalie in team history to reach 20 wins, has been outstanding lately. He stopped 33 shots on Saturday.
News: Robert Esche allowed three goals on 23 shots in Wednesday's game at N.Y. Rangers to pick up the victory in MSG.
Analysis: Esche outdueled Henrik Lundqvist, who had been 7-1-2 in his past 10 starts in Madison Square Garden.
News: According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Robert Esche will serve as the backup to Antero Niittymaki for Tuesday's game against the Devils.
Analysis: Coach Ken Hitchcock is rewarding Niittymaki with another start after a stellar performance down in Atlanta on Saturday. Set your daily Fantasy lineups accordingly.
News: Robert Esche stopped all 27 shots he faced in Wednesday's game at Florida to pick up his first shutout in 31 games.
Analysis: Esche remains a solid Fantasy option as a No. 2 goaltender despite the fact he and Antero Niittymaki split starts in Philadelphia.
News: Robert Esche allowed two goals on 20 shots in Sunday's game at Pittsburgh to take the loss.
Analysis: Esche ran into a buzzsaw in Marc-Andre Fleury who posted the shutout. The Flyers will look to get back on track on Wednesday night at Florida.
News: Robert Esche allowed four goals on 36 shots in Monday's game against the Canadiens in a shootout win.
Analysis: Antero Niittymaki will likely be in between the pipes for Wednesday's big game against the Hurricanes after this poor showing.
News: Esche allowed three goals on just seven shots in Thursday's game against the Rangers before being pulled for Antero Niittymaki early in the second period.
Analysis: Esche will likely be looking on Saturday when the Flyers play at N.Y. Islanders against his fellow Team USA teammate Rick DiPietro.
News: Robert Esche allowed just one goal in regulation and overtime, but suffered a loss in the shootout on Wednesday at New Jersey.
Analysis: Esche will likely serve as the backup in Thursday's game against the Rangers. Set your lineups accordingly in daily leagues.
News: Coach Ken Hitchcock told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Robert Esche will start in between the pipes on Wednesday at New Jersey to give Antero Niittymaki a rest after playing in Sunday's Gold Medal game loss for Team Finland.
Analysis: Set your lineup accordingly in all daily Fantasy leagues, as he got plenty of rest after the Americans were dispatched early from the tournament.
News: Robert Esche dressed as the backup for Thursday's Olympic Games matchup against Team Kazakhstan behind Rick DiPietro.
Analysis: Esche might not see all that much work during the Olympics, which is great news for his Fantasy owners. See Dominik Hasek.
News: Robert Esche stopped 11 of 13 shots in the first period of Saturday's game at Ottawa, but he was pulled in favor of Antero Niitymaki. The Flyers lost 3-2 and Niitymaki was saddled with the tough loss.
Analysis: Esche has been splitting starts with Niittymaki lately, but he is still the more valuable Fantasy goaltender. Look for him to return with a chip on his shoulder in the second half of the season, making him a great option down the stretch.
News: Robert Esche allowed two goals on 22 shots in Wednesday's game against the Islanders to pick up a victory.
Analysis: Esche is 3-2-1 in six starts since returning from a groin injury. He has been splitting starts with Antero Niittymaki and neither has emerged as a clear-cut No. 1 goaltender.
News: The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Robert Esche is getting more starts as a reward for his good play. He started back-to-back games this week for the first time since coming back from a groin injury. "He played very well the last game (at the Rangers Monday) and he feels really good physically," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We consulted everyone we could consult and [Esche], and so we want to reward him for real good play."
Analysis: Esche allowed three goals on 36 shots against Buffalo Thursday. They lost the game, so we might continue to see a rotation of Esche and Antero Niittymaki in goal.
News: Robert Esche allowed two goals and came out as the overtime winner at the Rangers Monday.
Analysis: Esche, one of the United States' three Olympic goalies, had his second strong game in three outings after sitting out 17 with a groin injury that first flared up earlier in the season. He made 32 saves in a win over Pittsburgh on Jan. 21 but allowed five goals on 15 Montreal shots four days later. He's not posting the best numbers this season and Antero Niittymaki has good at times in his place. Both are going through a tough month, as are all of the Flyers, but Esche is probably the goalie the team leans on as they push toward the playoffs.
News: Robert Esche allowed five goals on just 15 shots in Wednesday's pounding from the Canadiens. He had a difficult time containing Jan Bulis, who burned him for four goals in the game.
Analysis: Esche will likely be back to spectator status on Saturday againt the Lightning, as Antero Niittymaki was impressive in his place on Monday against the Penguins. Set your lineups accordingly in daily leagues.
News: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Robert Esche will serve as the backup for Monday's game against the Penguins with Antero Niittymaki getting the nod.
Analysis: The team plans to ease Esche back into the lineup. He was impressive in Saturday's win at Pittsburgh, allowing just one goal in a win. Adjust your Fantasy lineups accordingly.
News: Robert Esche (groin) was activated from injured reserve on Saturday to start at Pittsburgh. The coaching staff has said he has had three strong practices in a row, so he gets the nod today.
Analysis: After Antero Niittymaki had been so impressive in his absence, the Finn has been pounded during a four-game losing streak. Esche and Niittymaki should split starts initially, making each a decent No. 2 Fantasy goaltender.
News: The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Robert Esche (groin) hopes he will be back on the bench to back up goalie Antero Niittymaki by Saturday. He practiced Wednesday and was supposed to have another MRI exam. "I feel good," Esche said. "I just want to make sure I'm 110 percent. I feel so great right now as far as weight and conditioning go, I just want to make sure with all the goals I do have - playing well for this team, the Olympics, the playoff run, all that stuff. It's kind of a one-shot deal, not something you can do halfway, so we don't really know for sure right now. But the plan is to get cleared by [tomorrow] and rejoin the team."
Analysis: Antero Niittymaki has played so well in his absence that Esche is not expected to see much playing time initially. So keep him reserved in all leagues until he returns healthy and gets starts.
News: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Robert Esche (groin) is expected to join the club in Chicago on Wednesday to practice. He is expected to miss another eight to 10 days.
Analysis: The team is being overly cautious with Esche as he returns from a groin injury. Antero Niittymaki has played so well in his absence that Esche is not expected to see much playing time initially.
News: According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Robert Esche will be shut down for at least the next two weeks with a groin injury.
Analysis: He won't be allowed to skate for at least a week. Reserve him until he is able to return without any lingering effects of the injury. Pick up Antero Niittymaki if you need a replacement. He'll be starting for at least the rest of the month.
News: Robert Esche allowed four goals on only 20 shots in Thursday's game against Vancouver and was pulled midway through the first period in favor of Antero Niittymaki.
Analysis: Coach Ken Hitchcock announced his starting goaltender plan for the next three games, but Thursday's poor performance by Esche might throw a monkey wrench into that. Stay tuned.
News: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports coach Ken Hitchcock has announted Robert Esche will start Thursday against Vancouver, Monday against Buffalo and Dec. 15 against Ottawa, with Antero Niittymaki getting the nod on Saturday at St. Louis.
Analysis: Keep this in mind when setting your lineups in daily Fantasy leagues over the weekend.
News: Robert Esche (groin) was able to return to the lineup on Tuesday at Columbus. He made 23 saves and allowed just one goal in the win.
Analysis: Esche looked decent after being out of the lineup for a week, but it was also the lowly Blue Jackets. Antero Niittymaki, who did a great job in his absence, should at least see a start in one of the two games this week.
News: According to published reports, Robert Esche (groin) is likely to return and start Tuesday's game against the Blue Jackets.
Analysis: It is likely Antero Niittymaki will make at least one more start this week on Thursday against the Canucks or the Blues on Saturday.
News: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the Flyers feel Robert Esche has a slight tear in his right groin and will not require surgery. He will be re-examined on Monday, but he is expected to miss one or two weeks.
Analysis: Antero Niittymaki will start in place of Esche. If the veteran requires surgery, then he will be sidelined anywhere from four to eight weeks.
News: Robert Esche will undergo hip surgery on Tuesday and will likely miss the World Cup. He will be out three to four months but should be ready for training camp next season.
Analysis: Esche went 11-7 with one shutout and a 2.32 goals against average in the playoffs.
News: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Robert Esche does not have a concussion.
Analysis: Esche left Sunday's Game 5 due to flu-like symptoms and dehydration, although it is believed coach Ken Hitchcock might not be revealing the true nature of his goaltender to throw off the opponent.
News: The Philadelphia Daily News reports Robert Esche will start between the pipes in Game 1 against New Jersey on Thursday.
Analysis: Esche will likely receive a quick hook from coach Ken Hitchcock leaving Sean Burke to start.
News: Robert Esche stopped 37 shots, allowing one goal, against New Jersey Saturday. Esche will sit Sunday at Pittsburgh in favor of Sean Burke for one game.
Analysis: Esche is playing well recently and is 3-1-1 in his past five games.
News: Robert Esche (knee) underwent tests on his knee and has been cleared to rejoin the team. Coach Ken Hitchcock said he may not play Thursday in Ottawa, but starting Saturday in Boston was a "distinct possibility."
Analysis: Keep Esche reserved until he can officially return to the lineup and prove his health. Even if he does start on Saturday, he will not see the playing time he did before his injury due to the acquisition of Sean Burke from Phoenix.
News: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Robert Esche (sprained MCL) did not skate Monday, but was able to go through an extensive leg workout with the team's strength and conditioning coach.
Analysis: When Esche returns, likely a week or so away, Antero Niitymaki will be demoted.
News: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Robert Esche (knee) is expected to miss three to six weeks.
Analysis: Esche will be relieved by Antero Niittymaki and Jeff Hackett (vertigo) once he returns.
News: Robert Esche is expected to miss at least three weeks with a sprained left knee.
Analysis: Antero Niittymaki replaced him in Wednesday's game and might start Thursday in Atlanta, as well. Jeff Hackett (vertigo) is also nearing a return.
News: The injury woes continue for the Philadelphia, as starting netminder Robert Esche left Monday's game in the first period with a sprained left knee.
Analysis: Esche was replaced by recent AHL call-up Neil Little for the remainder of the game. Little will likely get the start Wednesday against Washington if Esche is unable to go.
News: Robert Esche suffered a slight setback with his groin injury and he missed Tuesday's game.
Analysis: Antero Niittymaki was recalled from the AHL to backup Jeff Hackett. Keep Esche reserved in all Fantasy leagues.
News: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Esche (groin) felt good in practice on Wednesday and is hopeful of returning to the lineup early next week.
Analysis: Esche should be kept reserved until he can officially return.
News: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Robert Esche (groin) practiced for 25 minutes Monday without pain. He will likely return to play this weekend.
Analysis: Esche should remain reserved until he officially re-enters the lineup.
News: Robert Esche (groin) completed his second straight day of extensive rehabilitation Wednesday and might return sometime next week, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "I think he will be back on the ice in a short time," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I don't think it's unrealistic for him to join us next week. He won't come back until he can do everything without pain, consciously and subconsciously."
Analysis: Jeff Hackett will continue to start in net for the Flyers until Esche is fully healthy.
News: Robert Esche underwent an MRI exam on his right groin on Tuesday which revealed merely a strain, according to phillyBurbs.com. "He took full rehab (Tuesday)," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "That's a good sign. He felt quite a bit better (Tuesday)."
Analysis: Esche's status remains day to day, and Jeff Hackett will continue to start in net until he is fully healthy.
News: Robert Esche will have an MRI taken on his strained groin on Tuesday, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Analysis: While Esche is sidelined, Jeff Hackett will assume the goaltending duties for the Flyers.
News: Robert Esche turned away 29 shots on Thursday against the Canucks. He allowed three goals.
Analysis: Esche has won five straight starts and is clearly the goaltender of choice for coach Ken Hitchcock, at least while he is red-hot.
News: Robert Esche made 21 saves against Florida, as he picked up his second straight win.
Analysis: Esche has played extremely well when given the opportunity. He is still best used as a reserve unless Jeff Hackett suffers an injury or has an extended slump.
News: Robert Esche started Monday's game against Montreal and stopped all 20 shots to pick up the win.
Analysis: Robert Esche is not a threat to Jeff Hackett's job, but he is worth a roster spot in Fantasy leagues which average points per game in a period.
News: Robert Esche allowed three goals and made 20 saves in Saturday's 3-3 tie with the Penguins.
Analysis: Esche is the backup, as Jeff Hackett will receive the bulk of the starts. Keep Esche active unless he can secure the starting job at some point.
News: According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Robert Esche will start Saturday's game against Pittsburgh.
Analysis: Esche is still considered the No. 2 goaltender in Philadelphia and he should be kept reserved until either an injury occurs to Jeff Hackett or until Esche can secure the starting job.
News: Jeff Hackett will start Thursday's opener against Buffalo in favor of Robert Esche, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Analysis: Esche had a poor preseason and will serve as the backup to Hackett. With two favorable matchups in the first week, Esche might not see meaningful playing time for the first few weeks. Keep him reserved in all leagues.
News: It is doubtful Esche will be the man next season for Philadelphia. According to general manager Bobby Clarke, Roman Cechmanek will not return to the Flyers next season. Expect a high-profile free agent to sign or a trade to occur. An early rumor has Brian Boucher, who is currently serving as the backup to Sean Burke in Phoenix, to return to his first team as the starter.
News: Esche and forward Michal Handzus were sent to Philadelphia Wednesday in exchange for goaltender Brian Boucher and a third round draft selection. Esche's Fantasy appeal will not change dramatically, as he will backup incumbent Roman Cechmanek.
News: The Coyotes sent Esche to Springfield of the AHL on Tuesday to get in a few games this weekend. He is likely to be recalled after that and reclaim the job as Sean Burke's backup. This move pretty much assures Burke is now completely healthy and will start all the games in Esche's absence.
News: Esche, who missed more than a week with a knee injury, is reportedly ready for the start of the regular season. He still doesn't have any Fantasy value as the backup goaltender in Phoenix.
News: Esche is listed as day to day with an unspecified knee injury. He's not in contention for the Coyotes' starting goaltending job to begin with, meaning he's not worth much Fantasy consideration in the first place.