It was originally thought to not be a serious injury. But the more that time went back, the less likely it was seeming like Carter Hart would return this season. The Flyers made that official as they have shutdown Hart for the remainder of the year.
The MCL sprain in his left knee will cost Hart the final seven games of the season. He had been sidelined since April 17th, when he was scratched from a scheduled start. He had practiced the day before so the scratch was seemingly out of an abundance of caution. At the time, it was said that he tweaked something in his final start on April 15th.
With the Flyers just about eliminated from playoff contention, there was no need to rush Hart back this season. So while he doesn’t get a chance to end the season on a positive note, there was some stuff to like from his final game. He posted a .969 SV% in a shootout win over the Penguins. He made 31 saves on 32 shots in the contest.
The overall numbers are rough and that goes to show the struggles that the young goaltender went through this season. He will finish with a 9-11-5 record to go along with his 3.67 GAA and .877 SV%. Point blank, it was a rough season for him. The Flyers gave him a chance to reset himself at the end of March, sitting him out for about a weeks worth of games.
He looked refreshed in his return, despite the fact that he only registered two win in the five games before he was shutdown for the season. The overall numbers looked better as he recorded a 2.31 GAA and a .910 SV%. It was looking like Hart was possibly turning a corner.
It’s been clear how cautious the Flyers wanted to be with their young goaltender. Just a few days again, Alain Vigneault mentioned how much Hart wanted to get back out there. Ultimately they chose to play things safe in the end.
“We’ve had four different doctors take a look at the MRI, they all say the same thing, that it’s a mild sprain. We’re just being a little bit cautious there, I know how badly he wants to get back at it.”
So Hart will have to wait until next season to try and get back on track. It was a strange season for most and it’s evident that he may have been affected by the crazy circumstances thrown the league’s way. Nevertheless, he will look to rebound when things get underway for the 2021-22 season.