Carter Hart out: What’s going on in the crease for the Flyers?
Flyers’ goaltender Carter Hart has been out with a mild knee sprain since mid-April and while he skated at the Virtua Center on Monday, the timeline for his injury is still unknown. Hart has not played with the hockey club since April 15 and has not participated in practice since April 16. The 22-year-old goaltender’s 2021 season has been rough, with a 0.877 SV% and 3.67 GAA, but in his April 15 win against Pittsburgh, the old Carter we all know and love seemed to shine through, allowing only one goal and sporting a 0.969 SV%. That promising glimpse of confidence in his game made Hart’s untimely lower-body injury even more frustrating, but despite everything, the show must go on and the Flyers’ season has continued.
Here’s what the team’s goaltending has looked like in Hart’s absence:
Elliott has played four of the six games since Hart’s last start earning a record of 2-1-1 and a 0.905 SV%. All things considered, he has been very solid in goal for the Flyers these past two weeks. Last night’s 6-4 loss to the New Jersey Devils greatly impacted his recent stats (a 0.808 SV% will do that when you’ve consistently been playing with 0.906+ save percentages.) As a backup goaltender, it’s very possible that playing multiple back-to-back games is taking its toll on Elliott, who in his last four, has had his SV% get lower with each game.
Lyon has played the remaining two games not picked up by Elliott in Hart’s absence. Both games (versus the Capitals and the Rangers) resulted in two tallies in the loss column for Lyon and the Flyers. Lyon allowed 10 goals between the two games and had a 0.854 SV%.
Sandstrom was recently added to the Flyers’ taxi squad and has been participating in practices with the team. This may seem like a surprising move when you look at his stats; Sandstrom started the 2020-2021 season on loan in Sweden with the Vasterviks IK where he played five games and had a 1-4-0 record, 2.74 GAA, and a 0.920 SV%. Since February, Sandstrom has played six games in the AHL with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms where he has a 3-2-1 record, 4.25 GAA, and a 0.864 SV%. The 24-year-old has yet to play his first NHL game and to be quite honest his record is not helping his case. In fact, any other year, those numbers would certainly not call for a promotion to the Flyers’ taxi squad so bringing up a goalie with those stats could point to the organization’s frustration with how their current goaltenders have been performing. Although bringing him up could also be an interesting strategy to force the Flyers’ defensemen to sharpen up their play.
Sandstrom is expected to start tonight for the Phantoms.
Other Injury Updates
Aside from Hart, the Flyers have a few other injured players. Shayne Gostisbehere, who is expected to be out 7-10 days with an MCL strain, was seen skating on Monday and participating in workouts with Morgan Frost, who is recovering from shoulder surgery but is not expected to play again until next season.
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY