The Philadelphia Flyers‘ 32 win within the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night marked a new era for the franchise. This was the very first game under interim coach Scott Gordon, who replaced the fired Dave Hakstol on Monday. Perhaps more importantly, it marked the powerful NHL debut for a rookie the team hopes may become the franchise goaltender they’ve been seeking for years: 20-year-old Carter Hart.
“It is something which I’ve heard of as a youngster, ever since I was 4 yrs of age,” said Hart before his first career start, which saw him turn aside 20 shots to the Flyers (13-15-4), who arose from the Eastern Conference basement with all the win.
Hart was called up on Monday since the Flyers yet again shuffled around their maligned goaltenders, who had jointly the worst save percent in the NHL this season (.874). With Brian Elliott along with Anthony Stolarz wounded, and Alex Lyon shipped back to AHL Lehigh Valley, Hart was composed and awarded his first start against the Red Wings.
It has been a massive increase for Hart. He was selected in the 2nd round of the 20-16 NHL draft (No. 4-8 overall) and played for the Everett Silvertips junior team, where he also starred. Where he was trained by Gordon expert turned using the Lehigh Valley Phantoms this year.
The Flyers inquired about whether he was ready a couple weeks ago, but which was within a stretch of drama for Hart.
“But since that time, he’s played with five games and is becoming better. He’s really starting to be a pro. Whether this was the ideal time or maybe not, ” I don’t know, but he’s been a better goalie than that had been .”
Against Detroit, Hart stopped all eight shots he faced in the first period, because the Flyers took a 1-0 lead to some James van Riemsdyk goal. He gave up another goal in the 3rd period, as Jacob de la Rose snapped a fast shot and was left alone in the front of the net.
But the rookie managed to close the Red Wings out then due to his first NHL victory, including in the game with the Detroit net drained. This was an effort that Hart might not have been able to conjure earlier in his first pro season.
“Earlier in the season, which makes the transition from juniors to the pro stage, I was overanalyzing everything,” he said on Monday. “I only gotta trust me game. Play to your own strengths. You got ta play, If it’s game time with. Do not think. Simply play.”
Their rookie goalie was mobbed by the Flyers . A company notorious for going through goaltenders with regrettable frequency– as Hart was the someone to emerge this season alone — observing the debut of just one they expect can break that hex.