Flyers' Carter Hart Has Fans Daring To Dream

Photo: Eric Hartline, USA Today Sports

For Philadelphia Flyers fans, the last three weeks have been a whirlwind. It started late last month when the team fired general manager Ron Hextall. Then, over the last week, two inevitabilities came to fruition.

On Monday, the Flyers relieved head coach Dave Hakstol of his duties. Tuesday, the next great hope at goaltender, Carter Hart, made his NHL debut. Both moves had Flyers fans saying “finally,” and the latter injected some excitement into an increasingly disengaged fan base as the team struggles to keep up with its fellow Philadelphia teams.

Despite an unexpected run to the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, it’s been forever since the Flyers were relevant in a legitimate contender kind of way, and even longer since they’ve had the type of goalie who can steal games and carry a team to the Cup.

Enter Carter Hart. His debut was solid if unspectacular, as the Flyers played respectable defense in front of their young goalie. Courtesy of NHL stats by Pucky, he made 20 saves on 22 shots, with one of the goals coming on the power play. He did a good job controlling rebounds and made a few key saves as the Detroit Red Wings tried to mount a late push. Most importantly he remained poised and helped the Flyers to a 3-2 win. In doing so he became the youngest Flyers goalie to win his NHL debut.

The solid debut earned Hart another start on Thursday night, this time against the Nashville Predators, and he was even better. He stopped 31 Predator shots, allowing a single goal, earning another win.

A game-changing netminder has been on Flyers fans’ wish lists for a long, long time. In the interim there have been big name free agent signings, other hot shot prospects, and a revolving door of mediocrity. Will Carter Hart be the one that finally pans out? It’s obviously too early to answer that question, but the first step has been taken towards finding out, and it was an encouraging one. For now, Flyers fans at least have a reason to pay attention again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *