Flyers

Bernie Parent on Carter Hart: 'Flyers are going to win the Cup with him'

Bernie Parent on Carter Hart: 'Flyers are going to win the Cup with him'

Carter Hart has a ton of fans.

The 20-year-old rookie captured the city when he won eight straight games, tying the NHL record for most consecutive victories by a goalie before his 21th birthday.

Bernie Parent, who knows how to win the hearts of Philadelphia, is one of those fans.

"The Flyers are going to win the Cup with him," Parent said of Hart last month in an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia's Marc Farzetta.

Big fan, indeed.

That prediction is music to the ears of Flyers fans, who are experiencing no playoff hockey for the fourth time in the last seven seasons. The Flyers haven't made the postseason in consecutive years since 2010-12, when they last won a series.

And, of course, the last time the Flyers won the Stanley Cup: 1975 with Parent tending the pipes for the franchise's second straight title.

Hart, a 2016 second-round pick, is the club's goalie of the future and the Flyers are excited for his first full season in 2019-20.

"Hartsy is a great young goalie and is going to be good in this league for a long time," Brian Elliott said last Sunday. "The Philly fans have a lot to look forward to. He was really good, especially as a young guy coming in."

In particular, Parent is impressed by Hart's hockey instincts.

What he has, you can't teach this, is the ability to anticipate. It's a God-given talent. You can't teach that, because when the play happens, it has got to be natural and within you. [Wayne] Gretzky had that. Gretzky would always go not where the puck was, but where he thought the puck would go and always made the right moves. 

You look at this kid and that's what he does. He will anticipate while the play goes and then makes his move. He'll drop to his knees and make the saves, but then if there's a rebound or something happens, he's right up again. A lot of goalies don't do that today.

Hart has been lauded for his maturity and approach at just 20 years old. He works hard and thinks the game at an advanced level.

"Going into next year, it's important I have a good summer of training so I'm prepared for a long season, 82 games, so I'm mentally and physically prepared to handle whatever workload I'm given," Hart said last Sunday. "Obviously I want to play every game, it's just the mindset that I have. This summer is important for me to get stronger and faster. 

"In an 82-game season, we're playing almost every second day. A huge part has been the off-ice approach, making sure that you're taking care of your body, getting enough sleep and you're eating the right things. That's really important in a season where you're playing almost every second night."

And into the playoffs, possibly to a Stanley Cup Final.

Parent likes those chances.

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Future Flyers Report: Could prospect Connor Bunnaman be headed back to NHL soon?

Future Flyers Report: Could prospect Connor Bunnaman be headed back to NHL soon?

It’s time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers’ prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

• The Flyers' depth at forward is being seriously tested.

The team is without Travis Konecny (concussion, out indefinitely), Michael Raffl (broken right pinkie finger, out approximately four weeks) and Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder, out indefinitely).

Going into their three-game road trip, the Flyers have only 12 healthy forwards. In his fifth stint with the big club since the beginning of 2018-19, Mikhail Vorobyev is centering the Flyers' fourth line. The 22-year-old is in audition mode yet again with the Flyers and will have to be noticeable in limited minutes to stick.

How Vorobyev performs moving forward and the Flyers' depth concerns could open the door for Connor Bunnaman. The 21-year-old forward made the Flyers' season-opening roster. He's healthy again with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley after missing nearly a full month because of a lower-body injury.

Bunnaman brings size and positional versatility as the 6-foot-3, 214-pounder can player either center or winger. This past week, Bunnaman scored a goal and had eight shots in three games.

The Flyers may want to have him play more games with the Phantoms before calling him up. However, they may need him soon. Bunnaman has Raffl-like potential and ability.

On Sept. 26, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher spoke highly of the 2016 fourth-round pick who scored 19 goals in 62 games with Lehigh Valley last season and two goals this preseason.

He’s been the best player in training camp. He was outstanding in the practices. ... By best player, I mean in terms of expectations. He’s come in and blown them away.

He honestly seems twice as fast this year to last year. I know we make a habit of saying players are quicker and faster but this guy is legitimately much faster than last year and he scored 19 goals last year, had a heck of a year in the American League.

There’s no reason to doubt that he can play some games for us this year.

The Phantoms play Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Flyers play Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Keep an eye on Bunnaman and the big club's bottom-six depth.

Quick hits

• Noah Cates is continuing to turn heads.

As a sophomore, the 2017 fifth-round pick leads defending national champion Minnesota Duluth with nine goals and is a point-per-game player (16 points in 16 contests).

The 20-year-old winger is coming off a four-point weekend (three goals, one assist) in the Bulldogs' two-game sweep of Omaha.

The Flyers couldn't stop bragging about Cates this summer and are probably bragging some more to each other this week.

"I just need to play the way I can play, especially these next couple years with my development," Cates said in June. "They're on board with that, they're happy with where I'm at, but I've got to keep making strides."

He's doing just that.

• Cam York, the Flyers' 2019 first-round pick, recorded a goal and an assist in Michigan's 4-1 win over Penn State last Friday.

The mobile and skilled puck-moving defenseman owns nine points (four goals, five assists) in 14 games as a freshman.

• Egor Zamula enjoyed a three-point weekend for the Calgary Hitmen.

The 19-year-old is third among WHL defensemen with 28 points (seven goals, 21 assists) in 28 games and has a plus-19 rating.

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Flyers' Travis Konecny out indefinitely with concussion after hit from Mark Borowiecki

Flyers' Travis Konecny out indefinitely with concussion after hit from Mark Borowiecki

VOORHEES, N.J. — Monday started with bad news for the Flyers.

Travis Konecny, their 22-year-old leading scorer, is out indefinitely with a concussion.

Konecny was leveled in open ice by Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki during the first period of the Flyers' 4-3 win Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center. He left the game and never returned.

The 2015 first-round pick is on pace to shatter his career highs. He's been arguably the Flyers’ most important piece to their turnaround through 30 games of 2019-20.

He has 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists) after having 28 points through the team's first 50 games last season. The Flyers are 2-4-4 in games that he hasn't scored.

I didn’t know a ton about him. I knew he competed like hell, fiery player," Matt Niskanen, in his first year with the Flyers, said Monday. "Playing with him, that’s reinforced that thought — hungry on the puck, good quickness, really good at creating turnovers. He’s shown a pretty good scoring touch, too, so far this year. A lot of good tools and he’s been a really important player for us.

Philippe Myers left the Flyers' skill practice Monday with back spasms. With Konecny out and Myers potentially out for Wednesday's game in Colorado against the Avalanche (9:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN), the Flyers will most likely have only 12 healthy forwards and six healthy defensemen to open a three-game road trip.

Niskanen, who has 125 career postseason games on his résumé and a Stanley Cup title, said this can be a good challenge for the Flyers. The team is 12-3-4 and tied with the Capitals for the most points in the NHL at 28 since Nov. 1 (see weekly observations).

"Both guys have played really well for us," he said. "Hopefully they come back, we've been on a pretty good run here. But it gives somebody an opportunity and it tests us a little bit — and that's OK, early in the year, you're going to have to learn to deal with things."

As of Monday morning, the Flyers did not have plans to make a call-up. Forward Chris Stewart will enter the lineup and defenseman Robert Hagg will, as well, if Myers is unable to go in Colorado.

Head coach Alain Vigneault said it's uncertain if Konecny will or can travel with the Flyers. The team flies to Denver Tuesday afternoon.

"At this time, I would say no," Vigneault said, "but you never know how things change."

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