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Philadelphia Flyers Goaltender Impacts Early On

Carter Hart Start

Goaltenders are similar to pitchers and quarterbacks. The spotlight and the pressure are on them. No matter how young or old they may be, the goalie is the focal point of the team. In today’s day and age the goaltending has emerged nicely. With the youth movement sweeping across the league, you have young goalies like Igor Shesterkin, Ilya Sorokin, and Jake Oettinger at the top of the list. Another goalie that has emerged this year is Philadelphia Flyers goalie Carter Hart with his hot start.

Carter Hart Off to Hot Start for Flyers

For the first time in a long time, the Philadelphia Flyers have found their goaltender. After failed experiments such as Ilya Bryzgalov, Steve Mason, and even Brian Elliott it was like the crease in Philly was cursed. And finally comes Carter Hart.

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After being drafted in 2016 in the second round, he has made his case to be the Flyers goalie. It really showed early in his career. His rookie season saw him post a 2.83 goals-against-average and .917 save percentage. But his second season is where he earned a lot of his praise. He had his best statistical season (2.42 GAA and .914 save percentage), but it was the last two years that took a turn for the worst.

After two brutal seasons, he has returned to that 2019-20 form and has been a stellar presence in the crease. His impact on the club is noticeable, and he’s the team’s Most Valuable Player. 

All In The Numbers

Hart is having a great start to the season. He has been a large reason why the Flyers are where they are to start the year. He has a record of 5-0-2 to begin the year. Hart is posting his best numbers right now as he holds a .943 save percentage and a career low 2.10 goals against average. In addition to that, he has an absurd 12.6 goals saved above expected. This currently ranks first in the league among all goaltenders. He has only posted below a .900 save percentage once this season, and has been very good in net. Hart has excelled in each area of the ice and holds a .897 save percentage in the high-danger area, .935 in the medium, and .976 in the low. If you are a Flyers fan, you have to be happy about this stuff.

It’s comforting to see and is Vezina Trophy-type play to begin the season. Even though those are his numbers, his impact on the Flyers goes beyond those.

How He Impacts The Club

Looking at the underlying numbers, the Flyers are one of the worst teams at even strength. They have the worst Corsi For Percentage (38.90), second worst expected goals for percentage (38.14) and HDCF% (35.40), and fifth worst shots for percentage (43.13). What they are doing is making their chances count as they are a middle of the pack team with a 51% Goals Percentage. Wins are wins, but this team is at the bottom in terms of their play. They are thriving in team save percentage (4th with 94.07). Philadelphia Flyers Carter Hart plays a large part in this.

All Statistics Are From Natural Stat Trick

The Games Started

Hart has been absurd in the games he has played in and is the reason they have either won or have been in those games. In his start against the New York Rangers, the Rangers had an XGF% of 77% and CF% of 62%. This means that the Rangers controlled the play and dominated when it came to getting high quality chances. Hart posted an absurd 3.61 GSAX as the team fell short in over time.

The other night Hart faced 51 shots against the Florida Panthers and finished the game with 3.44 GSAX. And before that, Hart smothered the Nashville Predators, and Tampa Bay Lightning finishing with 2.31 and 2.5 GSAX, respectfully. In the opener against New Jersey, he posted a 1.48 GSAX and looked sharp early on. His only game with a negative GSAX was against Vancouver, but the team still emerged victorious. To sum it all up, Hart has been sharp in his starts and has not lost in regulation so far.

To further demonstrate his impact, in the games Hart has not started, they have lost all three of them. The team has gotten outshot and outplayed in each of them, and unfortunately, Felix Sandstrom is not Hart. In addition, the team has been outscored 12-5 and outshot 104-93 in those contests.

There are two things these games all have in common. The Flyers got outplayed at even strength in every game and the Flyers won all of them. Every team has been able to generate quality chances, but Hart is keeping them in every game he has played in despite being outplayed in all of them.

All Game Time Numbers Come From Money Puck

Can Flyers Build off the Carter Hart Start?

The Philadelphia Flyers have a gem in the net. Carter Hart is the real deal his start has been critical for the Flyers. He has returned to his top-tier form that sent the hockey world on fire. If he keeps this up, he very well could take home hardware upon the season’s end. Hart has impacted the team with his stellar play and is a large part of why the Flyers are in good shape. Without him, who knows how many laps Torts would make them skate.


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