Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart will not dress for tonight’s game in Buffalo. He will not dress on Wednesday, either, Alain Vigneault said this morning.
Hart is fully healthy but hasn’t been anywhere near the top of his game this season. Hart is 8-9-3 with a 4.04 goals against average and .869 save percentage in 22 games (20 starts) this season. It has been a rough go of it for the 22-year-old netminder.
Hart was pulled from his last start on Thursday night after allowing six goals on 11 shots against the Rangers. While he won’t be dressing for games this week, it’s not about rest. It’s about him working harder and finding his game.
Carter Hart getting a chance to work on his game
“This is not a rest day for Carter. This is a workday for him. We were able to have him skate at practice yesterday, we’re going to have him skate and then stay on the ice and work on his game,” Vigneault said prior to practice on Monday morning.
“He’s going to skate today in practice, stay on after; practice with the team tomorrow, stay on after. Wednesday, he will do the same thing. He’s gonna practice and work with [goaltending coach Kim Dillabaugh] after. We’re going to stay that way for a little while here,” Vigneault continued.
Hart and the Flyers, like many teams around the league, have not been able to practice as much as they are accustomed to in this shortened season. With a guy like Hart, practices may be able to unlock his game again.
“He needs to work on his game. He needs to work harder. He needs to work better,” Vigneault said. “I had a good conversation with him and Kim about my expectations about his practice habits and him stopping the puck. We were able to work with him yesterday –– just like our team, everyone benefits from good practices ––, and Carter’s gonna benefit from practicing here.”
The Flyers have been disappointing this season, to say the least, and Carter Hart is one of the players struggling the most. Hopefully, this two-game break can get him back on track heading into the home stretch of the season.
Moose gets the start in Buffalo
Brian Elliott will start on Monday night with Alex Lyon backing him up. Either Elliott or Lyon will start on Wednesday as well, Vigneault confirmed. Elliott is 3-0-0 with a 0.92 GAA and .967 SV% in four games (three starts) against the Sabres this season.
After their two games in Buffalo, the Flyers are back on a five-games-in-seven-days stretch next week. They’ll need Hart and Elliott to both be ready for that tough stretch.