Carter Hart returned to practice with a belief that the Flyers will be ready to go when the playoffs begin.
He hadn’t skated that entire time, facing only a handful of shots before returning. It was the longest he’s ever gone without skating in his entire hockey career.
Even despite that long layoff, Hart believes in the Flyers and expects them to be ready come playoff time. Training camp and at least one exhibition game should get the team rolling.
“I know we have the right group here that will be ready to go whatever date they tell us we’re going to play. I’m sure everyone was staying ready the full time, and whenever we get the nod to play, we’ll be ready.”
Before the season was paused, Hart was finding his groove after returning from injury. He was 9-2 in the Flyers last 11 games. That included the nine game winning streak that the team went on. Hart was in net for seven of those games, posting a 1.72 GAA and a .942 SV%.
His play this season has him ranked as the 10th best goaltender heading into the playoffs. That’s a surprising rank considering Hart has actually never appeared in the postseason before. But it goes to show how valued he is around the league.
Hart has a similar reaction to the Flyers being in a round-robin tournament as Sean Couturier. It’s a great spot for them to be in since they cannot slip any further. They can, in fact, become the top seed in the Eastern Conference if they sweep the three games.
It won’t be easy as they face the Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, and Tampa Bay Lightning. But if they are able to regain that momentum during camp and round robin, it could be a long run for the Flyers.
Especially if Hart can succeed during his first taste of playoff hockey. The team could go as far as he takes them.