Big Season Ahead for Flyers' Carter Hart
By Patrick Hoffman
Year in and year out, the Philadelphia Flyers always seem to have the same problem when it comes to their hockey club.
If you're a Flyers fan, then you know that I am talking about your club's goaltending. It's hard to remember when the Flyers had a true number one goaltender that was consistent in both the regular season and the Stanley Cup playoffs.
This has negatively impacted the Flyers for many seasons. the team could score goals with the best of them, but keeping the puck out of their net was another story.
This season, the Flyers hope that changes with 20-year-old second-year netminder Carter Hart. While expecting a lot from a very young netminder is a bit unreasonable, Hart showed glimpses last season that he could end up being the real deal for this franchise.
Hart was 16-13-1 with a 2.83 goals-against average, and a .917 save percentage in 31 games last season. That goals-against may be somewhat high, but that solid save percentage certainly sticks out as a very big positive for the Flyers.
The fact that he can stop a lot of pucks is a good sign. The team's defense isn't great by any means so there is a good chance that Hart will have a lot of pucks thrown at him this season.
What was also a good sign for Hart and the Flyers is that he did not allow many soft goals. He was the same way in both the AHL and juniors so the fact that he was able to bring this ability up to the NHL is great news for both Hart and the Flyers.
Last season, he was the first masked man in Flyers history to win four straight starts and he did so during a period where he won six consecutive starts from Jan. 14-Feb.2. This shows that he can be consistent for stretches at a time, which is important if you want to make the playoffs come April.
What's also great about Hart is that he's still very young. This means that he is not even close to hitting his prime and also means that he has some time to show the Flyers and their fans that he is the right guy to lead this team into the future.
It will be up to Hart to have a big season. If he can do that, the Flyers should be set in goal for the future.
Patrick covers the NHL for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave.
He has previously covered the league for WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.