Through the first three games of the season, Flyers goalie, Carter Hart, was living up to expectations. He was making big saves and giving this team and this city comfort between the pipes that fans have long been waiting for. Since his savior moment in the 2018-19 season, that kind of performance was exactly as expected of him. Hart, who made his NHL debut back in December of last season, came into this season as the Flyers number one guy between the pipes. Through his first three games, Hart stopped 75 of 80 shots fired his way and he recorded his first career shutout when the Flyers blanked the Devils 4-0 in the season debut at the Wells Fargo Center. His only loss came in a shootout at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks. However, the tables have turned and, unfortunately for Hart and the Flyers, the results haven’t been the same over his last three starts.
Coming into the game versus the Edmonton Oilers on the road, Hart had a record of 2-0-1. The Flyers were coming off a 3-1 loss to the Calgary Flames in which Flyers backup goaltender, Brian Elliott, had played well. Hart got the call to start versus the red hot Oilers on the road and he had hopes of snapping the Flyers two game losing streak. However, Hart had a game to forget as he allowed four goals on fourteen shots faced and was relieved by Elliott. While the guys in front of him weren’t much help, Hart was unable to make that highlight real save that he knows he’s capable of.
It’s no surprise that the Flyers would go back to Hart the next game when the Flyers took on the Dallas Stars at the Wells Fargo Center. After all, he is the Flyers go to guy but, unable to turn things around, the Flyers would go onto lose that game 4-1. This was a tough one for the 21-year-old netminder. He saw only fifteen shots throughout the whole game making it that much harder to get into a rhythm. In the second period alone, Hart saw only one shot. Coming into the third period, the Orange and Black were down 2-1 but still very much in the game. Dallas unfortunately quickly added to that lead as Corey Perry beat Hart on a backhand shot just 1:24 into the third. The Stars would later add on an empty net goal to seal the deal. The Flyers losing streak had now reached four games.
The next three games, the Flyers would go with the hot hand in Brian Elliott giving Hart some time to rest. If you want to get technical, he went over a week without a start. Coming into Sunday night’s game versus the Islanders, most people had a feeling that Hart would have a bounce back game. That’s the exact opposite of what happened. He allowed five goals on fourteen shots. Three of those goals were one’s he probably should’ve had. The first Islanders goal came courtesy of Anders Lee, who jumped on a rebound. The original shot from out near the blue line is one you’d like to see Hart swallow up.
The second Islanders goal came courtesy of Derick Brassard who snapped a shot right over Hart’s glove. While it was a tough save to make, it’s one that hart definitely could’ve snagged with the glove. The Brassard shot actually caught a piece of Hart’s glove before finding the back of the net.
The fourth Islanders goal was the worst of them all. A Ryan Pulock blast from the point found its way past Hart giving the Islanders a 4-2 lead. That’s a shot Hart simply has to have: something that very textbook with little to no screen. If Hart was on his best game, that’s probably a shot that he stops with ease.
There’s no question that Hart has hit a bump in the road; it’s been a rough go around for the Flyers netminder lately. He just can’t seem to make those timely saves. He’s off on his angles and he doesn’t seem to be playing with much confidence. However, Flyers fans shouldn’t be worried. With just a few minor adjustments, Hart should be able to snap out of this funk and get back on track. Sometimes it’s as simple as making a few big saves or having that one really good game. He’s only 21 years old. He’s going to hit a bump in the road here and there. It happens to the best. It’s better for him to struggle now then in February and March when the Flyers are fighting for a spot in the playoffs.
It’s only a matter of time before Hart gets on a roll and gets back to helping the Orange and Black win games. You just have to give it time.
Next Up for the Flyers:
The Flyers return to action tonight as they visit Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in a Metropolitan Division Showdown. The last time these two teams faced off was back in March of last season. Sean Couturier scored in overtime as the Flyers beat the Penguins 2-1. Carter Hart was spectacular stopping 41 of 42 shots fired his way. Puck Drop is set for 7PM from PPG Paints Arena.
As always, Let’s Go Flyers!