YWT #39- The Hart Show
You Would Think: Carter Hart and the Philadelphia Flyers goaltenders
The goaltending situation for the Philadelphia Flyers has become more muddled than ever in recent weeks. Last week, two Flyers goalies suffered injuries. Alex Lyon will reportedly be out for four weeks, and Michal Neuvirth is, well, Michal Neuvirth.
That leaves the Flyers with three potential options heading into the 2018-19 season. Brian Elliott, the team’s starter last year (when healthy), figures to be the main netminder. For now, at least. Elliott, 33, started 43 games for the NHL squad last year, missing significant time in the second half of the season, and having at least one post-season surgery. When healthy, Elliott is good. But Ron Hextall knows that Elliott is not the long-term solution in net.
Two years ago, Anthony Stolarz was considered the “goalie of the future” for the Philadelphia Flyers organization. Two seasons ago, Stolarz appeared in 29 games for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, posting a 2.92 GAA. He also got called up for a stint with the Flyers, appearing in seven games with the big club. The Edison, NJ native played well, posting a .928 save percentage and a 2.07 GAA.
Last season, though, Stolarz’s injury history caught up with him. A year ago, the prognosis for the young goaltender was bleak and his career was thought to be over. After seeking an opinion from a doctor outside the organization, Stolarz continued to pursue NHL fame. After nearly a year of recovery time, Stolarz returned for a short stint in the minors, playing three games with the Reading Royals of the ECHL before graduating to the AHL for one game towards the end of the season. Stolarz’s injury history may give Ron Hextall pause when it comes to giving him a shot at riding the bench this year.
And then there’s the Philadelphia Flyers’ new golden child, Carter Hart. The two-time CHL goaltender of the year finally joins the Philadelphia Flyers organization full time. While early projections had him playing in Lehigh Valley this year, injuries further up the depth chart might force GM Ron Hextall’s hand. Hart’s junior stats are absurd, as the former Everett Silvertips goalie posted a gaudy 1.60 GAA and a .947 save percentage. In the high-scoring WHL, Hart managed to lead his team to the WHL final, on the way to his third consecutive WHL Goalie of the Year Award.
While his pedigree may suggest that Hart is ready to take the crease, Hextall has been patient with essentially every prospect he’s managed. Only time will tell, though, if injuries continue, Hart may be forced into NHL action. And the fans are ready for that.
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You Would Think: The Philly Sports Podcast is brought to you by Last Word On Sports. Kyle Collington is joined by Mike Giletto each and every week to give you the fire and passion for Philadelphia sports. Kyle and Mike are two lifelong Philly sports fans that are just talking about what they love.
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