Lyon mutes the noise along continued success between the pipes

From successes to setbacks, 31-year-old Alex Lyon remains focused on the task at hand with the Detroit Red Wings.

Lyon mutes the noise along continued success between the pipes

All photos courtesy of Getty Images

An unfettered mind and a simple approach to the game continue to guide goaltender Alex Lyon along his NHL success.

Stepping into the spotlight of an NHL crease during crucial moments can rattle even the most seasoned backstoppers, but that has not been the case for Lyon.

The 31-year-old likes to keep it even-keeled. Had he not been a natural in net, he admits he may have been more inclined toward the peaceful life of a florist.

A former NCAA standout at Yale, Lyon tends not to overthink when it comes to his craft.

You certainly won’t find him combing social media for his name, despite becoming a fan favourite across several platforms for his candor and his dog bus business idea.

“I make a conscious effort to stay away from a lot of things,” said Lyon, who won the 2022 Calder Cup with the Chicago Wolves. “We’re human and with human nature, it’s so tempting to go on Google or go on Twitter.

“Unfortunately, I’ve made those mistakes before and been caught up in that. Every player goes through that at some point and I’m not immune to that. But I just find I play my best hockey when I’m focused on the task at hand.”

After going undrafted, Lyon picked up his first NHL experience in 2018 when he played 11 games with the Philadelphia Flyers. He played 11 more games with the club over the next three seasons before signing with the Carolina Hurricanes as a free agent in 2021.

July 2022, Lyon signed a two-way contract that brought him to the Florida Panthers.

With the team on the outside looking in for the playoffs, the Panthers needed a game-changing type.

Enter Lyon.

Lyon stepped into the NHL spotlight when he debuted with the club Jan. 19, 2023.

The native of Baudette, Minnesota, clinched nine regulation wins for the Panthers to help lead them into their 2023 Stanley Cup Playoff run.

On April 17, Lyon was between the pipes for Game 1 of Florida’s First Round Eastern Conference series against the Boston Bruins.

Although he was supplanted by veteran Sergei Bobrovsky starting in Game 3, Lyon played a pivotal role in helping Florida reverse their fortunes and upset the Bruins in seven games.

“The more you are around the game, your hockey mortality becomes a very real thing the older you get,” who hadn’t considered a professional career during his high school years.

“When you are young and having success it’s maybe easy to take it for granted and maybe not understand the excitement or how to handle those moments.

“I’m a big believer in that everyone needs to be connected. The more you are connected to your teammates, the better chance you have to realize team success. The goalie/defencemen relationship, it’s extremely important to foster that.”

Lyon has done that and more since signing a two-year contract with Detroit on July 1, 2023.

Coming into the 2023-24 season, he had played a combined 39 NHL games with Philadelphia, Carolina and Florida.

Just as he provided a spark with the Panthers, the netminder is doing the same with the Red Wings.

In 30 games this season in his first full NHL campaign, Lyon, posted 18-10-2 with a 2.79 GAA.

He has been a key figure in Detroit’s push to end a seven-season playoff drought.

“The longer I go on in this, the more I find that being regimented, to continue to live your life the way you do, especially as a goalie which is a very mentally taxing position, is what works best for me,” said Lyon.

“Whether it was the AHL or the NHL, if I can focus on what I do well and bring my best every day, that provides good results.”

It’s a formula that has served him well.

“My day-to-day is very similar to what it was three months ago, 12 months ago, 18 months ago and so on. Creating those good habits in your life is so crucial.

“It’s so tempting to be distracted, so those good habits, as long as they are deeply rooted, are super important in times like this.”

Times that Lyon continues to enjoy to the fullest.

“You get to a point where you know what works for you and what doesn’t. The more I can just be in the moment and keep my focus there that is what allows me to be at my best.”