Everything has been buzzing for the Philadelphia Flyers. Oskar Lindblom completed his treatments, Sean Couturier was named a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, and Alain Vigneault is a finalist for the Jack Adams Award. As the return to meaningful NHL hockey approaches, the loyal Flyers fans have been at a fever pitch. Many tuned in for Tuesday’s scrimmage and everything came to a screeching halt. The overreactions throttled as Carter Hart left the first period of Philadelphia’s intrasquad scrimmage and didn’t return.
“Any player missing any time in practice at this time, especially after the layoff that we’ve had sets him back a little bit. Obviously, it depends on the amount of time. He’ll have to do a little bit of extra work when he is capable of coming back.”Alain Vigneault; 7/22/20
While watching the scrimmage, including commentary by Jason Myrtetus and Brian Smith, we learned that Carter Hart was supposed to speak with media via a conference call. That plan was nixed. Speculation became rampant. Would happened to Hart? Will Hart be able to play in the round-robin series?
“We’re not allowed to comment but I would say to you that I’m not concerned.”Alain Vigneault; 7/22/20
Due to the circumstances revolving around COVID-19, the NHL has barred any comments about player injuries. The one burning question everyone wanted to be answered just couldn’t. Through reports, we learned that Carter Hart had back spasms. Players such as Shayne Gostisbehere, Joel Farabee, and Kevin Hayes weren’t aware that Hart disappeared to the locker room from the bench. Alain Vigneault isn’t concerned that Hart will miss time, but is confident in Brian Elliott.
“He’s looked good. He’s come in here with a good mindset. Obviously, because of the long layoff and the limited amount of ice time for a goaltender they can get, you always wonder how they are going to come in, but Brian’s looked good. Every day I feel he’s working extremely hard, he’s spending a lot of time with Kim, our goalie coach, and he’s going to be ready.”Alain Vigneault; 7/22/20
Regardless of Carter Hart’s availability for the round-robin series and on, Brian Elliott will likely receive playing time. Both goaltenders complement one another as showcased in the 2019-2020 regular season. Elliott will play in the round-robin tournament regardless of Hart’s health. Hart is the starting goaltender, but that’s not a reason to leave a backup cold. Keeping both goaltenders warmed up for performance is the luxury the Philadelphia Flyers have.
“I do think that the experience of Brian gives us a great tandem. Whoever we put in goal they’re going to do a great job for us. That’s what both our goaltenders have done for us all year long.”Alain Vigneault; 7/22/20
It’s important to remember that Brian Elliott was more than capable to keep the Philadelphia Flyers momentum going in the regular season when Carter Hart was hurt. He did so alongside Alex Lyon, who owns a victory over the Colorado Avalanche, a favorite in the west. Elliott’s experience in the playoffs and the familiarity of his current role only illuminates the luxury he is. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that Hart will be ready for the round-robin series. If there is a minor hiccup, Elliott is more than a “good hand.”
“Goaltending is a big part of season success and a real big part of playoff success. We are no different than everybody else. We’re going to need our goaltender to be at the top of their game. I think we’re all very confident that any one of those two guys will do a great job for us.”Alain Vigneault; 7/22/20
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Eric is a University of Delaware graduate with a degree in English. While in school, he began writing for different publications such as The Highlight Network, Amps and Greenscreens, and he did color commentary for the University of Delaware Men’s and Women’s lacrosse teams throughout the 2013 season as an alumni. Prior to being featured with Philly Sports Network, he began a pro-wrestling podcast with a childhood friend called the Totally Over Podcast. As an avid sports die-hard for all things Philadelphia, Eric is also a proud supporter of West Virginia University.