Flyers goaltender Carter Hart, a former star with the Silvertips, follows the puck during a game against the Rangers on March 1, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Flyers goaltender Carter Hart, a former star with the Silvertips, follows the puck during a game against the Rangers on March 1, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Dream on hold for former Silvertips standout

Flyers goalie Carter Hart still hopes to be able to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs this season.

By Sam Carchidi / The Philadelphia Inquirer

PHILADELPHIA — Carter Hart’s first full NHL season has gone well, but he knows a goalie’s reputation is built on the way he plays in the Stanley Cup playoffs, which may or may not be held because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner, acknowledged earlier this week that the regular season, suspended March 12, may not resume. He sounded hopeful, however, that some sort of playoff format will he held in the summer.

That would work for Hart.

“I was definitely excited to hopefully play a playoff game this year,” the Philadelphia Flyers’ goalie said in a conference call Thursday. “It’s every kid’s dream to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs. I mean, hopefully we get that chance still coming up.”

Hart, 21, starred for the Everett Silvertips from 2014-18. He was named the WHL Goaltender of the Year three times and was Everett’s first recipient of the WHL’s Player of the Year award in 2018. He was drafted by the Flyers in the second round (48th overall) in 2016.

Hart is back home in the Edmonton area, trying to stay in shape by lifting weights, riding an exercise bike down his basement, performing exercises sent by Flyers strength coach Chis Osmond, and doing yoga twice a week with an instructor. He has not been on the ice during the break.

“It sucks that we’re not playing hockey right now, but there are bigger things going on in the world,” Hart said, adding he missed playing in the “electric” Wells Fargo Center.

“Everybody’s in the same boat and we all have to try to do our part. I know all the medical workers, hospital workers, and essential-service workers are all doing a great job stepping up for us. We have to do our job and stay inside and just try to stay healthy so we can all resume to our normal, everyday lives.”

Hart said he would need a week or two to “get back in sync and feel the puck” before he was ready to play.

“You don’t want to rush it right away,” he said. “When you have an extended break like this, with the uncertainty of how long it’s going to be, often comes the risk of injury when you come back. I think it’s important that whenever and if we come back that we get the proper time to get back into hockey shape.”

When the season was stopped, Hart was 24-13-3 with a 2.42 goals-against average and .914 save percentage. At home, he was spectacular (20-3-2 record, 1.63 GAA, .943 save percentage), but he struggled mightily on the road, where he was 4-10-1 with a 3.81 GAA and an .857 save percentage.

If the regular season is over and the NHL doesn’t change its playoff format, the Flyers would have the home-ice advantage in a first-round series against Pittsburgh.

Hart said he has heard a “ton of rumors” on how the playoffs would be formatted if the season returns. “As professional athletes, we have to make sure we find a way to stay ready now, so when that time does come, we’re prepared no matter what kind of format it is.”

The Flyers (41-21-7) were on a 17-5-1 run when play was halted.

“We put ourselves in a good position down the stretch,” Hart said. “It definitely sucks that we didn’t get to finish it out. … Hopefully we get that chance down the line when everything gets back to normal.”

As for his first full season in the league, Hart said he learned that maintenance days — such as occasionally missing a practice after a game — were important and “keeping yourself healthy off the ice. … and doing all the little things to make sure you’re ready every night to perform and decreasing your chances of injury.”

The Flyers have held numerous group chats and many teammates have played video games against each other during the break. “We have a really tight group here,” Hart said.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Snell strikes out 9, Rays win to pull even in World Series

The Shorewood alum takes a no-hitter into the fifth; Tampa Bay hangs on to beat the Dodgers 6-4.

Tampa Bay Rays' Mike Zunino celebrates his solo home run against the Houston Astros during the second inning in Game 7 of a baseball American League Championship Series, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
A slice of Everett in this year’s World Series

The Rays’ Mike Zunino and the Dodgers’ Chris Taylor were teammates on the AquaSox in the summer of 2012.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has been a huge factor in Seattle’s 5-0 start. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Grading the Seahawks at the bye week

Through five games Seattle is 5-0, and the marks reflect that record.

Lang captures Pro Late Models title at Evergreen Speedway

The Glacier Peak senior won the Central Welding Supply 125 this past Saturday.

Seattle Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf, right, catches the game-winning touchdown as Minnesota’s Anthony Harris defends in Seattle’s 27-26 victory over the Vikings on Oct. 11 at CenturyLink Field. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
POLL: What was the Seahawks’ biggest pre-bye moment?

Seattle is 5-0 at its bye, and there has been no shortage of defining plays.

Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger celebrates his two-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning in Game 1 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Dodgers’ stars shine in win over Rays in Game 1 of World Series

Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger homer to back a great start from Clayton Kershaw in L.A.’s 8-3 win.

Ryan Leveck makes a jump as he makes his way down the slopes during the opening day of Stevens Pass on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 in Stevens Pass, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald).
You will need a reservation to ski at Stevens Pass this year

But despite capacity restrictions, the resort expects most skiers and boarders will get a lift ticket.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson reacts after throwing the game winning touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 27-26. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Wilson has been ‘as good as you can get’ for Seahawks

The star quarterback’s brilliant play has Seattle at 5-0 entering the bye week.

The Central Welding Supply 125, which serves as the season finale at Evergreen Speedway, will attempt to run on Saturday, after being bumped postponed last weekend due to weather.
Season finale set for Saturday at Evergreen Speedway

The Central Welding Supply 125 was supposed to run last weekend, but was postponed due to weather.

Washington quarterbacks Kevin Thomson, left, and Jacob Sirmon, right, drop to pass during NCAA college football practice, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Who will be the guy at quarterback for UW?

New head coach Jimmy Lake and offensive coordinator John Donovan are in no rush to name a starter.

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird, left, smiles at Breanna Stewart after the team defeated the Las Vegas Aces to win basketball’s WNBA championship last week in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
POLL RESULTS: 2020 deemed the greatest team in Storm history

By a two-to-one margin, Seattle’s 2020 championship team out-polled the 2010 titlists.

Everett Silvertips' Jake Christiansen takes a shot on goal during the game on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Fans or no fans, Silvertips’ season will begin in January

The WHL says that its previous requirement of at least 50% capacity in arenas is no longer an issue.