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Flyers Training Camp

Carter Hart Says He’ll Be Ready for Flyers’ Opener Against Devils



Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers

Carter Hart is still not able to take contact because of an unspecified injury, meaning the Philadelphia Flyers’ No. 1 goalie will not play in at least the first four preseason games.

But he’s confident he will be in the nets for the season opener Oct. 13 against visiting New Jersey.

“I’ll be ready,” he said after turning aside shots at practice Friday in Voorhees. He was not allowed to take contact in drills.  “We’re just more so being cautious than anything. Making sure I’m at 100 percent. It’s a long year. …  Making sure everybody is fully healthy and ready to go every night.”

The last few days, Hart said, “I feel better on the ice. I’m hoping to play here one of these last few (preseason) games before the regular season starts.

“I definitely want to get in one,” he added, noting it’s been a “long time” since he last played.

Been A While

Hart, 24, last played April 12 in a 9-2 loss to Washington; he missed the last nine games last season because of an injury.

After Saturday’s afternoon game in Boston, the Flyers have two exhibitions remaining — Sunday at the New York Islanders, and Tuesday against the visiting Isles.

Felix Sandstrom and Sam Ersson, Sweden neighbors in the offseason who have played very well in camp, will face the Bruins. In limited action, Ersson has a .947 save percentage in exhibitions, and Sandtsrom has a .937 mark.

New coach John Tortorella was asked how many exhibition games Hart needed to be ready for the Oct. 13 opener at the Wells Fargo Center.

“I have no idea,” he said. “The biggest thing for us is to try to get him healthy for the start of the regular season.”

The veteran coach said he had no evaluation on Sandstrom or Ersson in the preseason games.

“I really don’t spend a lot of time watching the goaltenders,” he said. “I think that’s Dilly’s entity.”

He was referring to goalie coach Kim Dillabaugh.

“I think it’s one of the most unique positions in the game,” Tortorella said. “… I don’t get too antsy. I don’t get really excited or down low on these exhibition games.”

He said he liked when the goaltenders got lots of shots in the exhibitions to get them more work.

While Tortorella has been running the players through grueling skating drills at camp, the goalies have been doing their conditioning on the “assault” air bike. “We’re too slow out there on the ice to do laps,” Hart said, smiling. “We’re out there on the assault bike. That’s hell. I hate that thing. But the players are doing the conditioning and we need to as well.”

Captain on hold

Tortorella said naming a captain was not high on his priority list, and that the Philadelphia Flyers will start the season without one.

Sean Couturier was the favorite, but he hasn’t taken part in camp because of a back injury and is listed as week to week.

Cam Atkinson, who played for Tortorella in Columbus, and Scott Laughton are also captain strong candidates — especially if Couturier misses a lot of time. Kevin Hayes is a dark horse.

Stay tuned.


Defenseman Ivan Provorov had a maintenance day and did not practice. … Tortorella will watch Saturday’s game from the press level, then will coach behind the bench Sunday night against the Isles; it will be his first time coaching the Flyers in the preseason. … Tortorella gave his tired team  the day off Thursday, and he was pleased with the energy the players showed Friday.

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