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Flyers ‘Figured’ Something Would Happen With Carter Hart



Carter Hart
Carter Hart has been away from the Philadelphia Flyers on an indefinite basis since Jan. 23. (Photo: AP)

Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella has commented on the team’s goaltending situation a number of times in recent weeks, and it’s been apparent that the Flyers have struggled.

Tortorella, though, refused to put any of the blame on Sam Ersson, and felt that even newcomer Ivan Fedotov has had the odds stacked against him in his short time with the Flyers.

“Everybody throws the numbers that are out there, and the numbers are bad, right?” Tortorella acknowledged. “But, we’re not even talking about these games meaning anything for us if Erss doesn’t play the way he’s played. Then I throw Ivan in a situation and he’s coming – who knows where the hell he came from – and he has to play a game.

“We have Erss penciled in at maybe playing 18 to 22 games this year. Look where he’s at now.”

Ersson, of course, entered the season as the backup to incumbent starter Carter Hart, who is now away from the team and tending to legal matters after being charged with one count of sexual assault in January in connection with the Hockey Canada incident from 2018.

That charge has not been proven in court.

Hart last played for the Flyers on Jan. 20 against Colorado. Since then, Ersson has played in 27 of a possible 33 games, accruing a record of 9-12-4 with a 3.42 GAA and .871 save percentage.

“Let’s face it. Things got thrown into a really weird situation when we lost Carter,” Tortorella admitted. “But, having said that, we had discussions in the summer about the situation with Carter and figured something was going to go on, right? And, we’ve got to be honest about it. It’s not a great situation for our team when we lost him.

“It showed me a lot of good things about a specific guy in Erss how he handled it. I made the decision – I made the decision – that I’m going to live or die with Erss when I played him all those games.”

As for Ersson?

“He’s tired,” Tortorella said.

Danny Briere and the Flyers, like most teams, were certainly aware of a potential legal situation, but never acted on it further than discussion.

New Jersey, whose Michael McLeod was also charged in the Hockey Canada case, traded for Curtis Lazar last season and added two more centers in the summer in Tomas Nosek and Chris Tierney.

They were prepared, while the Flyers didn’t go out of their way to add any insurance for Hart in net. Now they live or die with Ersson, as Tortorella said.

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