Philadelphia Flyers: You can’t score on Carter Hart

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

At the ripe age of 21, Carter Hart became the youngest player in Philadelphia Flyers history to record a shutout – on 25 saves no less.

When the Philadelphia Flyers drafted Carter Hart 48th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, it gave fans in the 215 something they’d lacked in a goaltender for a very long time: Hope.

After the suffering through mediocre goalie play for, well, my entire life (and I’m 26), the team finally committed some serious resources to address their variable turnstile in the net, but could the answer to all of their problems (and fan’s prayers) really come in the form or a 6-foot-2, 170 pound 18-year-old?

If the Flyers’ home opener is of any indication, the answer to that question has to be a resounding yes.

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Earning his second straight start of the season, Hart led the Flyers to their first win of the season on Wells Fargo ice against the Josh Harris-owned New Jersey Devils and did so with the calming resolve of a grizzled pro.

Coming off an encouraging(-ish) three-goal game against the Chicago Blackhawks, Hart rode the momentum of a, well, road win back to South Philly and shut down the fairly potent Devils offense at every turn.

Serious, no matter what Wayne Simmonds and the Devils threw, or should I say shot at Carter, he found a way to counter it and keep the puck out of the net.

With 25 shots on net, the second-year professional earned 25 saves – delivering the Flyers their first shutout of the season and first overall since all the way back in January (29th to be exact).

But to call Hart’s performance impressive is a bit of an understatement: It was historic.

At 21-years, 57-days old, Hart became the youngest player in Philadelphia Flyers history to record a shutout in goal.

And believe me when I say, this wasn’t an easy night on the ice.

That save was so good, I literally had to write about it, even though I typically focus my coverage on the Eagles and 76ers.

Why? Easy, Hart is beyond fun to watch.

After suffering through less than exciting options like Ilya Bryzgalov, Steve Mason, and most recently Brian Elliott over the last decade, Hart is young, athletic, and most importantly under contract through the 2020-21 season, and could continue to get better with each passing week.

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Granted, this was only one game and should be taken with a grain of salt, but if you don’t mind me asking, when was the last time you actually got genuinely excited about a performance by a Flyers goalie? Even if Carter Hart doesn’t continue to ride this wave of momentum, gain 20 pounds, and become the second coming of Ron Hextall (the player, not the general manager), the 21-year-old Alberta native looks like the Philadelphia Flyers best option in-goal moving forward – and what an exciting tenure it should be.