Philadelphia Flyers goalie Carter Hart missed Monday’s matinee against visiting Carolina with an infected eye.
“The swelling is obviously a big issue for his vision,” interim coach Mike Yeo said a couple hours before the Flyers dropped a 4-3 overtime decision.
Martin Jones took Hart’s spot, and Kirill Ustimenko, 23, was recalled from the minors and served as his backup.
Yeo said he was “hopeful” Hart would be available for Tuesday night’s game against visiting St. Louis. “I don’t think it’s a long-term problem here.”
Hart has struggled over his last three games, compiling save percentages of .848, .870, and .853 respectively.
Yeo isn’t worried, saying there are no technical flaws in his game, and that Hart — like many Flyers — has been battling confidence issues.
“I don’t have any concerns about Carter,” he said. “One of the really, really challenging things for a player like Carter is to battle the confidence that’s needed to go out and play aggressive, to play his game, to concentrate on what he has to do, and focus on his job. And if he does that, and has the confidence that other people are going to do their jobs and take away the backdoor options, et cetera (things will work out)”
The Philadelphia Flyers have lost 18 of their last 20, so you can understand why their confidence level is so low.
“For sure, everybody — players out front, players on D, goalies — are battling confidence right now,” Yeo said. “But I have zero concerns about that. I know the work he (Hart) is putting in in practice, the attitude he has; it’s just a matter of kind of getting that good feeling back, and it’s going to come for him. We’re starting to give up fewer chances — obviously, this will be a tough test today against this team — but if we continue to do those things, then we’ll give him a chance to start building some confidence and start building that swagger that all good goalies have.”
Hart, who was hindered by a stye earlier this season, is 9-16-6 with a 2.96 GAA and .910 save percentage; he finished with a 3.67 GAA and .877 save percentage last season.
In another matter, Yeo said the Flyers hope right winger Wade Allison (MCL sprain) is cleared next week and can start full participation in practices.