We’re forty-three games into the 2018-2019 season, and the Flyers are already pretty much out of playoff contention. They have a record of 15-22-6 and are 15 points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. It has already led to Flyers fans using the phrase ‘#Lose for Hughes.’ One thing Flyers fans do have to look forward to is watching twenty year old goalie Carter Hart perform.
Through five NHL starts, Hart has compiled a record of 2-4-1 to go along with a 2.68 goals against average and a .909 save percentage. Despite the losing record, Hart has performed a lot better than his record shows.
The twenty-year-old goalie started his career off by stopping twenty of twenty-two shots fired his way against the Detroit Red Wings. His best stop came off a point-blank chance by Red Wings center Dylan Larkin. Not only did he get a win in his NHL debut, but he also earned first star honors.
One thing Hart always expresses is that he tries to treat every game the same. That can’t be easy especially when you’re getting your first NHL start.
“Yeah, I didn’t nap. I didn’t really sleep last night much either. I just kind of followed my routine and just tried to keep a quiet mind and prepare the same as I always do. The boys did a really good job tonight of shutting them down and didn’t give them very much at all for offense, so I thought we played really well”, said Hart after being asked if he prepared for this game like a normal one.
You talk about maturity. He says all the right things. He has so much poise and doesn’t let the pressures affect the way he plays his game.
He then came out two days later and turned in a great performance against the high-flying Nashville Predators. He stopped 31 of 32 shots fired his way and led the way to a 2-2-1 Flyers win.
“I’d like to stay here for good, but that’s not for me to worry about. I just have to worry about one game at a time and make sure I bring my best to the rink every day I come to work”, said Hart after he was asked if he belongs here for good after two starts.
On New Year’s Eve, Hart had probably his worst outing yet and looked a bit shaky. He allowed three goals on ten shots against the Hurricanes and was pulled in favor of Michal Neuvirth.
The best part about it is that he came out five days later and returned to his normal self. He stopped 29 of 32 shots, but the Flyers eventually dropped this one in OT to Johnny Gaudreau and the Calgary Flames by a final score of 3-2. Without Hart, the Flyers probably don’t even get a point in that game.
In his most recent start, despite the loss, Hart stopped 34 of 36 shots fired his way. His best save came on a Jaden Schwartz shot that looked like it was labeled for the back of the net but Hart made a blocker save.
Young at Hart. 🧡🖤#STLvsPHI | #LetsGoFlyers pic.twitter.com/2d2YE0b4zB
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 8, 2019
The Flyers have been looking for a franchise goaltender for years and I think they finally found one. It’s only been seven games, but Hart has lived up to the hype. He looks like a man on a mission. It’s like he’s out to prove himself.
When the first game of the season rolled around you can’t tell me you imagined you’d see Carter Hart up here with the big boys before the halfway point of the season. Not only is he now up with the NHL squad, but he’s also now the starting goalie for the time being because Brian Elliott is being sidelined with a nagging injury.
You probably ask yourself what is the big deal about Carter Hart? People that don’t pay attention to the Orange and Black night just assume that he’s just another goalie that is going around the Flyers carousel. That’s not the case thankfully.
It’s rare you find Hart out of position. He’s always square to the puck. He also moves well from post to post. The Flyers haven’t had that in a long time. He’s also so mature for his age. The way he handles himself before games and speaks to the media. It’s like he’s reading from a script. He’s just so composed with everything he does.
The reality of it is that the Flyers most likely will head home early this year. While the Flyers continue to struggle, other teams continue to thrive. The best thing to do is look ahead to next year. It’s not such a scary scene when you see the much anticipated Carter Hart between the pipes.
As always, Lets Go Flyers!!