It’s been a slightly worrying week for Flyers fans. Star goaltender Carter Hart mysteriously left a team practice on Tuesday before returning a few days later. The reason for his leave turned out to be back spasms. This initially caused some concern. Although the injury wasn’t considered to be serious, doubts surrounding Hart’s availability in next week’s exhibition game and beyond understandably arose.
However, Hart spoke to reporters on Saturday to reassure them that he’s trending in the right direction.
I feel good. Just kind of taking things a little more precautionary the last couple days. Been ramping it up the last two days. I feel really good right now. The plan is to be good to go for Tuesday.
This was then echoed by assistant coach Michael Therrien.
To be quite honest, I’m not sure what the plan is with Carter. He felt really good today on the ice. That’s a good sign. He’s 100 percent. He, AV and Kim are going to discuss about whether Carter or Brian will have a full game or split. At this point, I can’t answer your question. I’m sorry.
Hart definitely seems to be verging on the side of caution, but the conversation is obviously one of whether Hart will play the entire game or potentially switch out for Elliott on Tuesday. Beyond that, the Flyers have a further four days in order to work things out before their first round-robin game against the Capitals. With that in mind, if Hart is ready to go, it would behoove them to let him get as much ice-time as possible. There is bound to be some rust to shake off, despite scrimmages, and if Hart is unable to get up to speed, it’s going to be harder for the team to find a balance between letting Hart find his feet and the reliability Brian Elliott would provide.
It’s a sentiment that Hart also shared to some extent.
It’ll be nice to get into a game on Tuesday when no one’s played a game in more than four months. It’ll definitely be nice to get that first game in there, just getting back into that game mentality. Just run through everything that you would normally do on a game day because it’s been a long time for all of us.
The good news is that he seems to be raring to go for next week, which can only be seen as a positive for someone regarded as invaluable to the team.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports