Carter Hart again? Why not if you’re the Flyers. The 20-year-old who is only here because of multiple injuries ahead of him, has flourished in his first two NHL starts. He defeated the Red Wings in his debut, and then topped that with a victory over the Predators. Hart allowed just 1 goal in each game. This is a guy who came to the NHL with a 3.05 GAA and 0.901 save percentage in the AHL.
His numbers in his first two starts are looking stellar with a 1.50 GAA and 0.944 save percentage. It’s important not to get too excited if you’re a Flyers’ fan, though. Oscar Dansk and Maxime Lagace filled in and played well for Vegas last season in the face of injuries to Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban.
You ask a lot of people today and they can’t tell you who either are, so let’s wait for Hart to get a decent sample size before we see what he’s about. He was a stud in the WHL before signing a professional contract, so there is potential here, though. It’s unlikely a 20-year-old rookie is going to continue at this pace, however.
Hart made his debut in the same game that Scott Gordon was hired as the interim head coach of the Flyers. It’s been perfect for him so far, with a 2-0 record largely thanks to Hart playing out of his mind. We’ll see how long it goes on for, but I have a feeling variance is going to come eventually and be his biggest enemy.
Like I noted, Hart had a 3.05 and 0.901 save percentage in Lehigh. He gets the Blue Jackets on Saturday afternoon, a team who has gotten outstanding goaltending in their last two games as well. Sergei Bobrovsky appears to be back on the right track, with some stellar performances recently. He shutout the Knights and then allowed just 1 goal to the Devils in a 2-1 win. Bobrovsky is a better goaltender than what he was putting on earlier in the season. Head below for our free Blue Jackets vs. Flyers pick.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Philadelphia Flyers Pick
Bobrovsky has been on point since December 13th. He’s allowed less than 2 goals in three of four games, and less than 3 goals in four games with an average of 1 goal allowed per game. No team has hit his net more than 30 times per game, so the defence has been helping out as well.
Bobrovsy has also been nailed for 8 goals allowed in two games this season, so he’s seen just about everything and it’s not even January. He has already won the Vezina twice in his career, and has looked like the best goalie in the league against the Flyers. Bobrovsky holds a 2.04 GAA and 0.924 save percentage against the Flyers in 16 games.
The Flyers were on a four-game losing streak before Gordon and Hart jumped on board. They are now a game away from .500 at 14-15-4. I don’t know if Gordon turns them into a playoff team, but they’ve instantly looked better defensively. They do take on a Columbus team who have felt awfully comfortable on the road this season.
The Jackets have gone 9-5-1 on the road, while the Flyers are just 7-7-2 at home. Columbus have averaged 3.27 goals per game on the road, which is going to be the best offence, statistically, that Hart has seen in the NHL. The Red Wings are 21st and the Preds are 16th in scoring, while the Blue Jackets are 10th. Columbus is likely the right play here on Saturday afternoon in Philly.