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Flyers' Carter Hart misses 'electric' Wells Fargo Center, says he would need a week or two to be ready to return

Sam Carchidi, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Hockey

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 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, 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.

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